(NationalUSNews.com) — Gypsy Rose Blanchard, a nationally known victim of Munchausen syndrome who conspired with her internet boyfriend to kill her mother, is now free from a Missouri prison. Blanchard’s case received national media attention and inspired an HBO documentary and a Hulu miniseries.
After her conviction for taking part in her mother’s murder, Blanchard received a ten-year prison sentence, despite her conspirator, Nicholas Godejohn, receiving life in prison. Authorities attributed Blanchard’s lenient sentence to Blanchard’s status as a medical abuse victim.
Blanchard and Godejohn killed Blanchard’s mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, in June 2015. For years before the murder, Gypsy Rose Blanchard used a wheelchair, and her mother claimed she had a reduced mental capacity. Gypsy Rose Blanchard’s mother also said that she suffered from various other medical conditions and provided her with medication that she didn’t need. The Blanchard case has become a textbook example of Munchausen syndrome by proxy. This is when a caregiver, almost always the mother, induces illness or claims illness in a child in order to receive praise and attention for her efforts to care for her “sick” child.
After Dee Dee Blanchard’s murder, authorities uncovered evidence of the ongoing medical hoax and a plan between Gypsy Rose Blanchard and Nicholas Godejohn. In online communications, the two planned to stab Dee Dee Blanchard, which police discovered while investigating Godejohn as a potential suspect in the crime.
Shortly after her arrest, Blanchard accepted a guilty plea deal for second-degree murder and received the minimum punishment of ten years in prison. The plea deal referred to the abusive relationship between Gypsy Rose Blanchard and her mother, which prosecutors cited as their reason for pursuing the minimum sentence requirement. Godejohn didn’t take a plea deal and stood trial for the murder, receiving a life sentence for murder in the first degree. According to Gypsy Rose Blanchard’s trial attorney, Mike Stanfield, the defense team for Blanchard found medical records spanning 15 years that proved Dee Dee Blanchard knowingly misrepresented her daughter’s medical condition.
Dee Dee Blanchard’s death received national attention due to the shocking revelation that Gypsy Rose Blanchard’s medical conditions weren’t real. HBO released a 2017 documentary about the bizarre case called “Mommy Dead and Dearest.” The documentary features lengthy interviews with Gypsy Rose Blanchard and members of her family, as well as footage of police interviews with Blanchard and Godejohn. A few years after the murder, Hulu released a dramatic miniseries known as 2019’s “The Act,” which portrayed the years leading up to Dee Dee Blanchard’s murder and the aftermath of the shocking case.
Gypsy Rose Blanchard publicly admits to regretting her involvement in the murder, claiming her mother had a mental illness and didn’t deserve death. Blanchard’s release is making national headlines due to the shocking nature of the abuse she endured and the murder conviction. Lifetime, a television network, recorded several hours of footage with Gypsy Rose Blanchard as she prepared for her release. Lifetime will release the program in January 2024.
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