Child Abuse Victim Gypsy Rose Blanchard Released From Prison Following Sentence For Her Role In the Murder of Her Mother

Ashley Gillett

After serving seven years of a decade-long sentence for planning the murder of her mother, Gypsy Rose Blanchard was released from the Chillicothe Correctional Center in Missouri today at 3:30 am. She left the facility largely unnoticed, avoiding the location where the media was staged, according to WBTV 3 news

In 2016, Gypsy Rose pleaded guilty to second-degree murder charges related to the 2015 murder of her mother, Clauddine (Dee Dee) Blanchard. Gypsy Rose planned the murder with her then-boyfriend Nicholas Godejohn, whom she met through a Christian dating website.

Godejohn stabbed Blanchard 17 times, with a knife Gypsy provided, in the home Gypsy and Dee Dee Blanchard shared before Gypsy Rose and Godejohn fled the premises making their way to Wisconsin, where police apprehended the pair. Godejohn was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for his role in the murder. 

The case quickly caught national attention as the tragic details of Gypsy Rose’s life started emerging, namely the abuse she faced at the hands of her mother, becoming one of the most notable cases of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSP), also known as Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another (FDIA). The events surrounding this case inspired 2019 Hulu series “The Act” and “Mommy Dead and Dearest,” a 2017 HBO documentary. 

“…She controlled every aspect of my life,” Gypsy Rose said about Dee Dee Blanchard. 

Blanchard convinced friends, family, doctors, and Gypsy herself, that her daughter suffered from several chronic illnesses including muscular dystrophy, leukemia, severe asthma, seizures, and brain damage despite Gypsy having no physical or cognitive impairments.

Gypsy was also forced to live in a wheelchair, wear glasses and hearing aids she did not need, and was instructed by Dee Dee Blanchard to never speak during doctor’s appointments. Dee Dee Blanchard also lied about Gypsy’s age, doctoring her birth date to make her appear younger than what she was. 

Blanchard shaved her daughter’s head to maintain the appearance she was undergoing cancer treatments and convinced doctors to perform invasive procedures like the removal of her salivary glands and teeth, the insertion of a permanent feeding tube, and a muscle biopsy, amongst others.

Over the years, Gypsy slowly began realizing she wasn’t sick at all, but alleged that her mother would physically and verbally abuse her if she moved around without the aid of her wheelchair. After acquiring a burner cell-phone without her mother’s knowledge, Gyspy began going online in secret to talk to other people. 

“The prison that I was living in before, with my mom, it’s, like, I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t have friends. I couldn’t go outside, you know, and play with friends or anything,” Gypsy told ABC News.

In 2011, Gypsy attempted to escape her mother’s home. But Dee Dee quickly found her at a hotel with a man she had been talking to online. At the time, Gypsy was around 19 years old, however Dee Dee Blanchard claimed she was 15, threatening to call police on the man Gypsy was sequestered with.

By Gypsy’s account, Dee Dee then took her home, smashed Gypsy’s computer, and handcuffed Gyspy to her bed for about two weeks, hanging bells on the doors in the home to prevent another escape attempt.

In a 2017 interview with popular talk show host Dr. Phillip McGraw, Gypsy spoke about her childhood with Dee Dee, describing how her mother used her as a “cash cow” to receive donations and even a home built by Habitat for Humanity. 

“Could [Dee Blanchard] have been poisoning you in some way to keep you sickly? Could she have been over-medicating you to keep you weak?” Dr. Phil asked Gypsy.

“It’s a possibility,” Gypsy told him. 

During this interview, Gypsy laments her decisions and expresses regret for planning the murder of her mother. She also said she believes murder is always wrong but that she received more years than she deserved during sentencing.

“[My mother] taught me how to be a good liar. A very good liar, without any conscience. And I’m changing that. I’m trying to be a good person now. I don’t want to be like my mother, and I’m nothing like her.” Gypsy told Dr. Phil in the same interview. 

Many are wondering what Gypsy plans to do with her newfound freedom. An account claiming to be Gypsy Rose Blanchard on X wrote a post on December 12 promoting her new book, ‘Released: Conversations on the Eve of Freedom’ which will be released in January. 

“In case you missed the big news, I have a special ebook coming out 1/9, and it’s now available for pre-order! It was created with writers Melissa Moore & Michele Matrisciania and it would mean the world to me if you pre-ordered a copy.”

Social media users had mixed responses to Gypsy’s release with some supporting her and others disapproving of her release while Godejohn remains in prison. 

One social media user said: “That young man should have been released when you did or you should have been given his sentence.”

Another person celebrated her release and new-found book deal, writing: “Yayyyy!!! So excited for your release!! Enjoy your freedom, sweet girl!”

Another reacted happily to the news of her release, writing: “Happy Gypsy Rose Blanchard day to everyone celebrating.”

Gypsy has said she wants to become an advocate for abused children to make sure kids in a similar situation can get help and prevent more cases like hers in the future.

In the short-term, the young woman said she has plans to attend a Kansas City Chief’s game in the new year, hoping to meet her idol Taylor Swift, as reported by TMZ.

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