The Story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard

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Gypsy Rose Blanchard grew up hearing her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, make health claims that led to a string of dire diagnoses and medical interventions. Gypsy, on the other hand, wasn't actually sick; her mother had lied about her symptoms. Experts believe Dee Dee's behavior was caused by the mental disorder Munchausen syndrome by proxy; in order to be a caregiver, Dee Dee feigned and induced illness in her daughter. Gypsy and her mother's true identities were revealed only after Gypsy arranged for an online boyfriend to murder Dee Dee in 2015.

When Gypsy was a baby, Dee Dee began pretending that she had various illnesses.

Gypsy Rose, born in 1991, was a baby when Dee Dee claimed her daughter suffered from sleep apnea. Dee Dee described Gypsy as having leukemia and muscular dystrophy when she was eight years old, and that she needed a wheelchair and a feeding tube. Seizures, asthma, and hearing and visual impairments were among the medical issues Dee Dee mentioned about her daughter.

Gypsy was prescribed a slew of medications and had to sleep with a breathing machine as a result of Dee Dee's actions. She also had several surgeries, including eye procedures and the removal of her salivary glands. Gypsy's teeth were extracted when they rotted, possibly as a result of her medications, missing salivary glands, or neglect.

Gypsy, on the other hand, could walk, did not require a feeding tube, and did not have cancer. Her mother had shaved her hair, so her head was bald. Experts believe Dee Dee suffered from Munchausen syndrome by proxy (also known as factitious disorder imposed on another), which caused her to fabricate her daughter's illness in order to gain attention and sympathy for caring for a sick child.

People believed Dee Dee because she appeared to be a charming, devoted mother.

gypsy rose

Medical tests on Gypsy's diagnoses frequently yielded inconclusive or contradictory results, but Dee Dee refused to see any doctors who questioned her daughter's ailments. And many caregivers agreed with Dee Dee's wishes. She'd had some nursing training, so she could describe symptoms accurately, and she occasionally gave Gypsy medication to mimic certain conditions. Dee Dee was also charming and seemed to care deeply about her daughter. Dee Dee told Gypsy not to volunteer information during their appointments when she was old enough to talk — she was always the one telling Gypsy's fabricated medical history.

Gypsy's father, Rod Blanchard, was informed by Dee Dee that their daughter had a chromosomal disorder that had caused her numerous health problems. He praised Dee Dee for her attentiveness. When some of Dee Dee's family noticed that Gypsy didn't appear to require a wheelchair and inquired, Dee Dee and Gypsy left.

Dee Dee claimed to be a victim of Hurricane Katrina, so she and Gypsy were given assistance in 2005 to relocate from Louisiana to Missouri. Dee Dee continued to accompany Gypsy to doctor's appointments while she was there. Hurricane Katrina was also used as an excuse for missing medical records.

Dee Dee continued to claim she was sick even when Gypsy was a teenager and began to lie about Gypsy's age.

Gypsy and Dee Dee relocated to Springfield, Missouri, in 2008. It was painted pink by Habitat for Humanity and had a wheelchair ramp. Gypsy and Dee Dee were also given benefits such as charity-sponsored trips to concerts and Disney World. Dee Dee continued to enjoy the attention she received for being a dedicated caregiver.

Gypsy saw a neurologist in Missouri when she was 14 years old, and he came to believe she was a victim of Munchausen syndrome by proxy. This doctor, however, never reported her case to authorities. Later interviews revealed his belief that there was insufficient evidence to act. An anonymous report to authorities in 2009 stated that Dee Dee's accounts of Gypsy's ailments had no medical basis. Two caseworkers came to their house, but Dee Dee convinced them there was nothing wrong.

Dee Dee began to lie about Gypsy's age as she grew older, even altering the dates on Gypsy's birth certificate to make her daughter appear younger. Gypsy, on the other hand, was becoming increasingly difficult for Dee Dee to control.

Gypsy persuaded a man she met online to murder Dee Dee.

Gypsy attempted to flee her mother in 2011 by fleeing with a man she met at a science fiction convention. Dee Dee, on the other hand, quickly tracked them down through mutual friends. She persuaded the man that Gypsy was a minor, despite the fact that she was 19 at the time. Dee Dee smashed her computer and physically restrained Gypsy to her bed after they returned home, according to Gypsy. Gypsy has also stated that her mother would hit her and deny her food on occasion.

Gypsy was eventually able to reconnect to the internet. She joined a Christian dating site and met Nicholas Godejohn there. She told him the truth about her mother's actions and eventually asked him to kill Dee Dee so that they could be together. He came to her house in June 2015 and stabbed Dee Dee while Gypsy waited in the bathroom with her ears covered.

Gypsy and Godejohn returned to his Wisconsin home, where they were discovered by police. Gypsy had posted to her mother's Facebook account twice, once writing, "That b***h is dead!" She later explained that she made the posts because she wanted her mother's body found.

Gypsy was 'afraid' and thought she 'had no one to trust.'

Many people who had known Gypsy wondered why she had gone so far as to murder Dee Dee. She could have simply stood up in public and exposed Dee Dee's lies if she could walk. Gypsy, on the other hand, had been trained to believe that no one would believe her. She elaborated, "I couldn't just get out of the wheelchair because I was afraid of what my mother would say. I had no one in whom I could put my trust."

Gypsy, in fact, had spent her entire life being controlled and monitored by her mother. She was not permitted to attend school. Despite Gypsy's normal intelligence, Dee Dee claimed her daughter had a mental age of seven. Dee Dee always held Gypsy's hand in public, squeezing it when she wanted her daughter to be quiet.

Dr. Marc Feldman, a Munchausen syndrome by proxy expert, stated of Gypsy's life and actions, "The control was total in the same way that a kidnapped victim's control is sometimes total. Her daughter was essentially a hostage, and I believe we can understand the subsequent crime in terms of a hostage attempting to flee."

Gypsy is 'disappointed' that Dee Dee is no longer alive.

Gypsy's lawyer was able to arrange a plea deal for the charges she faced in Dee Dee's death because her medical records documented the abuse she'd been subjected to; in 2016, Gypsy pled guilty to second-degree murder. She was sentenced to ten years in prison, but she will be eligible for parole in 2024. In 2018, Godejohn was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Gypsy has stated that she only realized the extent of her mother's deception after Dee Dee's death. Gypsy knew she could walk and eat normal food, but she thought she had leukemia.

Gypsy is now in good health. She has also stated that she has more freedom in prison than she did in her previous life with Dee Dee. When Dr. Phil asked if she was glad her mother was dead, she replied, "I'm glad I'm out of that situation, but I'm not happy she's dead." In 2024, she will be eligible for parole.

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