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The Pioneer

The Pioneer

The Story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard

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Gypsy Rose Blanchard. PHOTO: ABC/MICHAEL LE BRECHT II

Gypsy Rose Blanchard’s life was filled with lies crafted by her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard. Despite what people believed, Gypsy wasn’t actually wheelchair-bound, didn’t need a feeding tube, and wasn’t fighting cancer. Dee Dee’s manipulation was fueled by a mental illness called Munchausen syndrome by proxy, where a caregiver makes up or exaggerates a child’s illness for attention.

Dee Dee, seemingly a devoted mother, skillfully navigated medical appointments, providing accurate symptom descriptions and even administering medications to mimic various conditions. Medical tests often yielded inconclusive results, but Dee Dee swiftly dismissed any doubts by avoiding skeptical doctors.

Gypsy’s father, Rod Blanchard, was led to believe that their daughter suffered from a chromosomal disorder. When family members raised questions about Gypsy’s apparent lack of need for a wheelchair, Dee Dee and Gypsy disappeared.

After Hurricane Katrina, Dee Dee got help to move from Louisiana to Missouri in 2005 and was gifted a free house by Habitat For Humanity. Gypsy’s fake illnesses continued, blamed on lost medical records from the hurricane.

As Gypsy matured, Dee Dee falsified Gypsy’s age on official documents. Even when a Missouri doctor attempted to uncover the truth, the deception remained unnoticed.

In 2011, Gypsy tried to escape with someone she met online, but Dee Dee stopped them, saying Gypsy was underage. Then Gypsy met Nicholas Godejohn online, and they planned to “get rid” of Dee Dee.

In June 2015, Godejohn carried out the murder while Gypsy waited in the bathroom, covering her ears. Gypsy’s life in captivity ended, but the question lingered: Why didn’t she expose the lies publicly? Dr. Marc Feldman, an expert in Munchausen syndrome by proxy, explained that Gypsy’s life was like a hostage, where total control left her unable to trust anyone.

Gypsy served time in prison, entering a plea deal and eventually being released in December 2023. Despite the relief of newfound freedom, Gypsy expressed mixed emotions about her mother’s death. Her life post-prison revealed shocking truths about her past as she discovered the extent of Dee Dee’s deception. Today, Gypsy enjoys the freedom she never had under her mother’s control, but the scars of a life built on lies still linger.

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