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Mom Who Allegedly Tortured Her Kids If They Didn’t Perform In Her YouTube Series Has Died

Pinal County Adult Detention Center

A mother who ran a popular Youtube channel and was arrested for child abuse and other charges has died.

Machelle Hobson—aka Machelle Hackney—ran the channel Fantastic Adventures which featured her children in scripted videos.

The popular channel had over 800,000 followers and earned thousands of dollars for the family. YouTube took it down in light of the allegations.

Hobson was arrested and charged with child abuse, molestation, child neglect and unlawful imprisonment in March of this year.


The arrest was made after Hobson’s 19 year old daughter, Megan, gave a tip to police that her siblings were being tortured for not participating in the videos.

Fellow Youtube parents were disturbed by the allegations.

Youtubers Tawny and Zeb Schnorr and their children once teamed up with Hobson for an episode of Fantastic Adventures.

Zeb told Inside Edition:

“That’s by far the worst part, that I didn’t pick up on anything.”

Tawny had a tearful message of hope for the kids:

“There’s a family out there waiting for you that will love you and treat you the way you deserve to be treated.”

When police made a wellness check to the family’s home in Maricopa, Arizona, they found the children to be malnourished. 

The seven children, who were adopted and between the ages of three and fifteen, told police that they were often starved, beaten, and pepper sprayed if they made errors while filming. The children had also been kept out of school for years.

Hobson died in a Scottsdale, Arizona hospital on Tuesday.

Police told ABC15 that Hobson was in a wheelchair for a March 29 court appearance. She had apparently suffered a brain injury, possibly an aneurism, while in jail. She was consequentially declared incompetent to stand trial.

Police do not plan on investigating her death further.

Charges against Hobson will be dismissed after her death certificate is released, but courts will continue to pursue Hobson’s assets.


Redditors and Twitter users voiced concern for the children’s welfare.

Sub116610 commented on a Reddit post about Hobson’s death:

“I just hope they are able to get help early enough and stick with it.”

Any seized money will go to the seven children who are now back in the state’s custody.

Charges against two of Hobson’s older children for failure to report the abuse were dropped prior to her death.

Gabrielle Coles

Written by Gabrielle Coles

Gabrielle is a freelance writer with a B.F.A in screenwriting for film and television. She is absolutely obsessed with food, animals, and true crime. You can support her love for all things culinary by following her food blog on Instagram,