Gypsy Rose Blanchard attained infamy following the demise of her mother, Dee Dee, at her own hands. Throughout her existence, Gypsy was subjected to maltreatment at the hands of her mother, who asserted her to be afflicted by numerous ailments.
Despite several efforts to break free, Gypsy remained ensnared until she devised a scheme with her paramour to end her mother’s life. Nevertheless, their machinations were exposed, leading to their subsequent incarceration.
In recent times, Gypsy’s narrative has become the focal point of several documentary films and television dramatizations.
Who is Gypsy Rose, and what transpired in her story?
Gypsy Rose Blanchard was raised by her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, who propagated a series of dire prognoses and medical interventions, all stemming from purported health issues. However, Gypsy was, in truth, hale and hearty—her mother had fabricated her symptoms.
Experts contend that Dee Dee’s conduct can be attributed to Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a mental ailment wherein Dee Dee induced and feigned sickness in her daughter, motivated by her yearning to play the role of a caregiver. The veracity about Gypsy and her mother only came to light after Gypsy orchestrated her mother’s murder through an online beau in 2015.
Dee Dee initiated her campaign of falsehoods when Gypsy was but an infant, asserting various illnesses.
From Gypsy’s infancy, Dee Dee alleged that her daughter, Gypsy Rose, suffered from sleep apnea, a condition dating back to her birth year in 1991. As Gypsy matured, Dee Dee began attributing leukemia and muscular dystrophy to her, necessitating a wheelchair and feeding tube. Over time, Dee Dee expanded the catalogue of medical maladies afflicting Gypsy, including seizures, asthma, along with auditory and visual impairments.
Dee Dee’s actions led to Gypsy being administered copious medications and relying on a breathing apparatus for sleep. Moreover, she underwent a series of surgical interventions, including ocular procedures and the excision of salivary glands. Eventually, Gypsy’s dental health deteriorated, possibly due to medication effects, lack of salivary glands, or neglect, ultimately leading to extractions.
In contrast to Dee Dee’s assertions, Gypsy possessed the ability to ambulate, did not require a feeding tube, and was unafflicted by cancer. Her baldness stemmed from her mother’s act of shaving her head. Experts posit that Dee Dee suffered from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a condition where one fabricates ailments in another, driven by the desire for attention and sympathy in the role of a caregiver.
Dee Dee projected the image of a captivating, devoted mother.
Medical evaluations often yielded inconclusive or contradictory findings regarding Gypsy’s purported medical conditions. Nonetheless, Dee Dee was averse to consulting any doctors who questioned her daughter’s illnesses. Numerous caregivers acquiesced to Dee Dee’s demands.
With a modicum of medical training, Dee Dee adeptly described symptoms and occasionally administered medications to mimic specific conditions. Her charisma furthered the illusion of wholehearted dedication to her daughter.
As Gypsy matured and began to articulate herself, Dee Dee enjoined her to withhold information during medical appointments—Dee Dee consistently presented Gypsy’s concocted medical history. She also informed Gypsy’s father, Rod Blanchard, that their daughter suffered from a chromosomal disorder causing her various health predicaments.
Blanchard lauded Dee Dee’s unwavering commitment to their offspring. However, when certain members of Dee Dee’s family questioned Gypsy’s purported ailments and her lack of need for a wheelchair, Dee Dee and Gypsy relocated.
In 2005, Dee Dee exploited Hurricane Katrina to secure assistance and relocate from Louisiana to Missouri with Gypsy. Following their arrival, Dee Dee persisted in taking Gypsy to various medical consultations, capitalizing on the hurricane’s chaos to account for missing records.
Gypsy Rose Blanchard and Dee Dee Blanchard
By 2008, Gypsy and Dee Dee had taken up residence in a new domicile in Springfield, Missouri, provided by Habitat for Humanity.
The dwelling was painted in hues of pink and featured a ramp to accommodate a wheelchair. Gypsy and Dee Dee also enjoyed benevolent offerings, including sponsored outings to concerts and Disneyland. Throughout, Dee Dee continued to bask in the attention garnered as an affectionate caregiver.
At 14 years old, Gypsy consulted a neurologist in Missouri, who concluded she was a victim of Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Nonetheless, this physician refrained from reporting the case to authorities, citing insufficient evidence. An anonymous tip in 2009, devoid of medical basis for Dee Dee’s claims, resulted in a home visit from caseworkers, yet Dee Dee successfully dispelled their concerns.
As Gypsy matured, Dee Dee manipulated her age, even altering her birth certificate to depict her as younger. Nevertheless, Gypsy’s defiance of Dee Dee’s control escalated.
In 2011, Gypsy endeavored to escape with a man she met at a science fiction convention. Dee Dee, however, tracked them down, persuading the man of Gypsy’s minority despite her being 19 at the time. Upon returning home, Gypsy alleges her mother subjected her to further constraints and abuse.
Subsequently, regaining internet access, Gypsy confided in an online acquaintance, Nicholas Godejohn, about her mother’s deceitful conduct. Eventually, she solicited him to execute Dee Dee, facilitating their union.
In June 2015, Godejohn infiltrated their abode, while Gypsy awaited the gruesome act in the bathroom, her ears covered.
Following the homicide, the duo fled to Godejohn’s Wisconsin residence, subsequently apprehended by law enforcement. Gypsy even made posts on a shared Facebook account, announcing her mother’s demise, though she later clarified her intention was for her mother’s body to be located.
Gypsy harbored fears and feelings of betrayal.
After the demise of Dee Dee, those familiar with Gypsy were confounded by the extremity of her actions. Despite her capacity to walk, years of manipulation led Gypsy to mistrust her ability to disclose the truth, rendering her isolated. She elucidated, “I couldn’t just jump out of the wheelchair because I was afraid and I didn’t know what my mother would do. I didn’t have anyone to trust.”
Throughout her life, Gypsy endured extensive control and surveillance from her mother. She was denied formal education and her intellect was deliberately underestimated, with Dee Dee falsely assigning her a mental age of seven. In public, Dee Dee maintained a tight grip on Gypsy’s hand, employing it as a signal for silence.
According to Dr. Marc Feldman, an expert on Munchausen syndrome by proxy, Gypsy’s existence bore an eerie resemblance to that of a hostage, dominated by her mother—a narrative akin to a captive attempting liberation.
In June 2022, reports emerged of Blanchard’s union with Ryan Scott Anderson, a man from Lake Charles, Louisiana, three years her senior. However, their separation was documented four months later.
Gypsy’s newfound state of well-being did not bring happiness over her mother’s demise.
Employing her medical records, Gypsy’s legal counsel exposed the torment she endured, aiding in negotiating a plea agreement for her involvement in her mother’s demise. In 2016, she pled guilty to second-degree murder, resulting in a ten-year prison sentence. Parole eligibility is anticipated in 2024.
In contrast, Godejohn was convicted of first-degree murder in 2018, receiving a life sentence.
Presently, Gypsy’s health is restored, and she asserts greater autonomy in confinement than under her mother’s dominion. However, when queried by Dr. Phil about her mother’s demise, her response revealed a complex mix of emotions. She affirmed, “I’m glad that I’m out of that situation, but I’m not happy she’s dead.” Parole consideration is slated for 2024.