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A Chilling Case: Gypsy Rose Blanchard Released

Gypsy Rose Blanchard
Entertainment Weekly
Gypsy Rose Blanchard

In the past few weeks, most people might have noticed the media buzzing with the news of Gypsy Rose Blanchard’s freedom. The 32-year-old woman’s case has become one of the most famous pop-culture criminal cases in recent history. But what exactly is her story?

When Gypsy Rose was a child, her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, claimed that she had a long list of serious medical problems and conditions. These included leukemia, muscular dystrophy, seizures, and hearing and visual impairments. She required a wheelchair and a feeding tube and went through multiple surgeries. But the truth: Gypsy Rose was perfectly healthy. She could walk, didn’t need a feeding tube, and didn’t have hair only because her mother shaved her head – a fact only discovered by the world after Dee Dee turned up murdered in her home (Biography.com). 

Later, it was found that Gypsy had asked her then-boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn, to kill her mother. Dr. Marc Feldman, an expert in Munchausen syndrome by proxy (a rare syndrome in which the caretaker of a child either makes up fake symptoms or causes real symptoms to make it look like the child is sick), said of Gypsy’s life and actions, “The control was total in the same sense that the control of a kidnapped victim sometimes is total. Her daughter was, in essence, a hostage, and I think we can understand the crime that occurred subsequently in terms of a hostage trying to gain escape.”(Biography.com) Gypsy Rose pled guilty to second-degree murder while Godejohn was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder (Biography.com). 

The unusual and horrifying case took the true crime-obsessed media by storm. It inspired several films and documentaries such as The ActAccording to Ramapo Sociology teacher Mr. Mayer, “The story would have otherwise disappeared, but content creators like Netflix and A&E were quick to grab the country’s attention when her sentence was winding down.  Add in how visible Gypsy had become on social media and it was always going to generate interest. […] people will view her in many different ways because of her situation. Ultimately, she conspired to have her mother killed and aided in its execution. I personally would’ve liked to see this story go away due to its horrific nature, but it is one of those stories everyone will talk about and then quickly forget about”. The case has also gained a substantial amount of attention on social media. Ramapo student Keira Duffy mentions, “I’ve seen lots about the case and about her being released on places like TikTok or Instagram.” 

  On December 28, 2023, Gypsy Rose Blanchard was released from prison on parole. She followed her release with a docuseries named “The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard”, stating that, “for me, getting to prison was a chance to start a life for myself in terms of gaining independence from everyone.” (CNN)

She can now be seen using media attention to foster change. “The choice that I made to commit murder was never the right choice,” she told People in an interview. “So my mission now is to take what I’ve done and what (my mom) did and make it worth something. So I think it’s really important for me to get out as much awareness about Munchausen by proxy as I can and really try to focus in on mental health.” (Today.com)


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