Gypsy Rose Blanchard is an American criminal convicted of masterminding her own mother’s murder. She suffered years of abuse at the hands of her mother, including claims of cancer, muscular dystrophy, brain damage, learning disabilities, vision impairment, etc. She was confined to a wheelchair for the majority of her life even though she was a perfectly healthy person. But, her mother presented her as a severely disabled and sick child who needed to be looked after 24/7. The mother-daughter became celebrities and received much media attention after their house was swept away in Hurricane Katrina. After several failed escape attempts, she hatched a plan with her boyfriend to kill her mother. After killing her mother, they ran away, but were arrested soon after. She is now in prison for second-degree murder, but claims that she feels freer now than she did ever before. She has also been the subject of several documentary films over the past four years.
Rise to fame
The strange story of Gypsy started way back when she was just a baby; her mother convinced herself that the daughter suffered from severe life-threatening health issues. Her mother used her presumed medical conditions to gain access to public assistance funds. After losing their home to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the mother-daughter duo gained much press attention. They became media darlings when Gypsy won ‘Oley Foundation’s’ ‘2007 Child of the Year’ award. ‘Habitat For Humanity’ built a special house with a ramp for them in 2008. They also received generous donations like free stays at Ronald McDonald Houses in Louisiana, free flights for doctor’s visits, free Disney World trips, backstage passes to concerts, etc.
The mother made her wear large glasses, shaved her head and confined her to a wheelchair when she was just a child. Because of her small stature, almost toothless smile, wearing wigs and carrying a feeding tube, she came across as a charming girl who suffered serious side effects of chemotherapy. The mother had subjected her to a series of unnecessary surgeries and also deceived everyone about her real age.
When she got older, she came to understand her mother’s wrongdoings and tried to escape, but her mother would often beat her up or chain her to the bed. Gypsy found her escape online, where she met her future boyfriend, 23-year-old Nick Godejohn. After she told Nick about her mother, they began to plot her murder. In June 2015, Nick stabbed the mother to death. They promptly fled to Nick’s house in Wisconsin.
After a long manhunt, they couple was tracked to Wisconsin and the world was shocked to learn that Gypsy could walk unassisted and was completely normal. Both were arrested and incarcerated. During interrogation, she informed the police of her true age, the years of abuse and stated that she was happy to be out of her miserable situation. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison on convictions of second-degree murder in July 2015 after she confessed to masterminding the murder.
Her fame reached new heights when HBO made a documentary on her in May 2017 ‘Mommy Dead and Dearest’. Further media attention continued in the form of interviews on the talk show ‘Dr. Phil’, an ID channel special, a Lifetime channel TV film, and a March 2019 Hulu miniseries titled ‘The Act’.
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Controversies & Scandals
Gypsy’s mother treated her like an invalid right from infancy. It was later discovered that the mother suffered from a mental disorder ‘Munchausen syndrome by proxy’ which caused her to imagine that her daughter suffered from many severe health issues. She subjected her daughter to many unnecessary surgeries like removal of her saliva glands, implanting of tubes in her ears to control ear infections, etc. She also pulled her out of school, deliberately confined her to a wheelchair, shaved her head to make her look like a chemotherapy patient, etc. Whenever somebody suspected her daughter’s illness or age, she would quickly change residence or produce fake documents. She benefitted vastly from her daughter’s condition including access to public assistance funds, generous donations and free gifts.
The daughter received a 10-year sentence for her mother’s murder and will be eligible for parole in 2023. In her appearances since her arrest, her looks have dramatically improved – from an undernourished, underage-looking child, she now looks like a healthy woman. She mentioned that she did not deserve a 10-year sentence, but understood the consequences of her actions. Her boyfriend stated that Gypsy used him to kill her mother.
Family & Personal Life
Gypsy Rose Blanchard was born in Louisiana, USA on July 27, 1991 to Rob Blanchard, and Dee Dee Blachard. They divorced before her birth. The father tried to stay in touch with his daughter even after the divorce, but the mother always found a way to keep their interactions extremely limited. He also regularly paid $1200 in child support to her.
She has a maternal grandfather, step-grandmother, and a stepmother, Kristy.
She is now serving her prison sentence at Chillicothe Correctional Center, Missouri. She is undergoing psychiatric treatment, attends various classes and has a job too. Her father is trying to get her sentence reduced and has promised to support her when she leaves prison.