When a “YouTube Mom” died of natural causes in 2019, it of course ended the criminal case against her, but a legacy of alleged abuse continues to haunt the family as her sons have been charged with molestation. Logan Hackney, 31, faces four counts of sexual conduct with a minor. Ryan Hackney, 29, faces two counts of the same crime.
The brothers’ ignominious claim to fame is through their mother, Machelle Hobson. She died of natural causes in 2019 ahead of trial for allegedly abusing her adoptive children and forcing them to star in her videos for the now-defunct YouTube channel “Fantastic Adventures.” Hobson was accused of an array of horrifying acts. For example, she allegedly pepper-sprayed the children all over their bodies, including their genitals; and she allegedly shut them in a closet without access to food, water, or a bathroom.
The children were known for appearing on the “Fantastic Adventurers” channel, which garnered over 700,000 subscribers before YouTube took it down. Life was full of terror behind the scenes, cops said. Hobson allegedly abused them if they forgot their lines or tried to get out of the videos, and she allegedly took them out of school to act in the productions. They hadn’t gone to class in “years,” the kids said, according to police.
The abuse left its mark, both physical and mental, cops said. According to investigators, the adopted children looked malnourished and said they were thirsty and hungry. One boy drank three bottles of water in under 20 minutes, police said. Another girl was offered a bag of chips but was afraid to eat it because she didn’t want her mother to smell the food on her breath, according to authorities.