Freedom at Last: Gypsy Rose Blanchard is Released from Prison
Missouri authorities announced on Thursday that Gypsy Rose Blanchard, a survivor of Munchausen syndrome by proxy who was convicted for plotting to murder her abusive mother, has been released from prison.
Gypsy Rose Blanchard, who was found guilty of orchestrating the plot that led to her mother’s death in 2015, was granted parole and released from prison on Thursday. Her tragic story has been the subject of various documentaries and dramatized series, showcasing her survival through years of manipulation by her mother, Clauddine “Dee Dee” Blanchard, who coerced her into feigning severe illnesses.
According to Karen Pojmann, a spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Corrections, Blanchard was released earlier today from the Chillicothe Correctional Center. Pojmann mentioned that Blanchard was granted parole after completing 85% of her original sentence.
The harrowing case drew widespread public empathy when revelations surfaced about Gypsy’s mother, Clauddine “Dee Dee” Blanchard, who imprisoned her daughter through psychological manipulation, which led Gypsy to believe she suffered from severe health limitations.
Gypsy endured appalling mistreatment, coerced by her mother to use a wheelchair and feeding tube. Contrary to the belief held by her friends for years, Gypsy Blanchard, now 32, was in perfect health and not developmentally delayed. During her trial, her attorney, Michael Stanfield, revealed that her mother suffered from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a psychological disorder where parents or caregivers seek attention by fabricating or exaggerating their children’s illnesses.
At Gypsy Rose’s trial, the defense highlighted Blanchard’s mother’s deception and exposed how her manipulation extended to doctors when she falsely asserted that her daughter’s medical records were lost during Hurricane Katrina. Whenever doctors probed further, her mother simply sought out new physicians, even resorting to shaving the girl’s head to support her fabricated narrative. Numerous unnecessary procedures were forced upon Gypsy, even the removal of her salivary glands. Her mother convinced doctors of its necessity by using a topical anesthetic to simulate drooling.
Through Dee Dee’s deception, the pair continuously received acts of charity, which included a trip to Disney World and a Habitat for Humanity-provided home near Springfield.
The Murder of Dee Dee Blanchard
In June 2015, Nicholas Godejohn, the boyfriend of Gypsy Rose Blanchard from Big Bend, Wisconsin, fatally stabbed Claudine “Dee Dee” Blanchard 17 times upon Gypsy’s instruction. Following Dee Dee’s demise, Gypsy turned to social media and posted about her mother’s killing in a status update.
Gypsy Rose and Nicholas Godejohn connected through an online dating platform in 2012. The pair maintained a covert relationship through instant messaging and technology, as Gypsy lived a life marked by profound social isolation for most of her years. Previous reports have characterized their messages as a blend of affectionate declarations reminiscent of fairytales, laced with a sexually suggestive tone.
As detailed in the probable cause statement, Gypsy Blanchard provided the knife and hid in a bathroom while Godejohn carried out multiple stabbings on her mother. Eventually, they traveled by bus to Wisconsin, where law enforcement arrested them.
Kent Franks, a psychologist who testified at the trial described Godejohn’s understanding of the gravity of the situation as “more childlike than adult”, with an IQ of 82.
In a 2019 interview with People, Godejohn said, “Somehow I just knew, deep within my heart, some way me and her would end up being together in the end. I wanted to make sure her mom was not going to harm her anymore. I made sure of that.”
“I’m ready for freedom.”
In 2016, Gypsy Rose Blanchard pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for her involvement in the death of her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard. Sentenced to 10 years in prison, she was released on parole on Thursday, December 28, having served 85% of her sentence. Her then-boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn received a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
“I’m ready for freedom,” Gypsy told People, “I’m ready to expand and I think that goes for every facet of my life.”