The student news site of Jonathan Alder High School

The Pioneer Press

The student news site of Jonathan Alder High School

The Pioneer Press

The student news site of Jonathan Alder High School

The Pioneer Press

How Gypsy Rose Blanchard went to prison to escape

Graphic to represent Gypsy Rose Blanchard’s journey from wheelchair to prison to social media presence Graphic by Megan Marling

On June 14, 2015, Gypsy Rose Blanchard posted on her mother’s Facebook, “That Bitch is dead!” The public later learned that Blanchard’s then-boyfriend had stabbed and killed her mother on that day.  The events of that day were a result of severe manipulation and abuse. This specific abuse is known as munchausen by proxy. 

Gypsy Rose Blanchard was born July 27, 1991 to her mother Clauddine Blanchard, more commonly known as Dee Dee Blanchard. When she was a baby, people had noticed that Gypsy Blanchard had an extremely noticeable lazy eye. Doctors told Clauddine Blanchard that Gypsy Blanchard needed surgery or she would go blind. This is possibly where Clauddine Blanchard developed her munchausen by proxy, as she got a lot of attention from others for having a child that could go blind.

Munchausen by proxy is defined by as “a mental illness and a form of child abuse. The caretaker of a child, most often a mother, either makes up fake symptoms or causes real symptoms to make it look like the child is sick.” This is often done for attention or sympathy. 

Another example of munchausen by proxy that shows how deadly it can be is the case of Garret Spears. His mother, Lacey Spears, purposely poisoned her son with sodium which resulted in his death. According to “Why a woman murdered her son with salt,” Lacey Spears would manipulate her son’s health in various different ways to gain sympathy from friends and family, constantly posting on her social media regarding her son’s sicknesses. 

With no one suspecting Clauddine Blanchard of having munchausen by proxy, she went on to lie to everyone about Gypsy Blanchard’s illnesses. In reality, the only illness Gypsy ever suffered from was a lazy eye, but Clauddine Blanchard claimed that Gypsy Blanchard had leukemia, asthma, a sort of muscular disorder, seizures, and a hearing impairment. 

Gypsy Blanchard was forced to use a feeding tube and use a wheelchair, even though she could walk and eat just fine. Clauddine Blanchard also told everyone that Gypsy Blanchard was two years younger than she actually was. Gypsy Blanchard was homeschooled and was shielded from the real world. According to Gypsy Blanchard’s Lifetime Documentary series, “The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard,” she was kept away from her whole family in order to isolate her further than she already was.

Gypsy Blanchard was abused for her entire life. She was used by her mother for sympathy and pity. She had many surgeries that caused her pain and awful side effects, such as losing her teeth from a surgery to remove her salivary glands, a surgery that she did not need. 

Clauddine Blanchard could not give doctors any paperwork for Gypsy Blanchard’s illnesses. She claimed that all medical records were lost in Hurricane Katrina. According to “The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard,” they saw hundreds of doctors so that no one would catch on to these fake illnesses.  

Gypsy Blanchard started to drift apart from her mother, she was suspicious about her illnesses and she wanted to have a life of her own. She began a journey of a dating life. 

Gypsy Blanchard began to secretly go online and talk to a man, Nickolas Godejohn, on a Christian dating website. They developed a strong and what some might call “toxic” relationship, and Gypsy Blarchard finally had someone to talk to about her abuse. 

Godejohn told Gypsy Blanchard that he would do anything to protect her. In “Who is Gypsy Rose Blanchard? What to know about the bizarre case as he is released from jail,NBC Chicago writes about how Gypsy Blanchard testified in court that she proposed that he should kill Clauddine Blanchard. Godejohn agreed. 

On June 14, 2015, Gypsy Blanchard invited Godejohn into her house while her mother was sleeping. She was told by Godejohn to wait in the bathroom until it was over. After the act, they left the body of Clauddine Blanchard and fled from Mississippi to Wisconsin where they were quickly found by police. 

It was believed at the time that Godejohn had killed Clauddine Blanchard for reasons of his own and then took Gypsy Blanchard as his captive. The police were under pressure to find Gypsy Blanchard quickly, as they believed she couldn’t possibly survive with all of her medical conditions and no one to treat her. According to an article written by ABC news, Gypsy Blanchard’s father and stepmother rushed to the home after they got the news that Clauddine Blanchard was dead and Gypsy Blanchard was gone. There they found all three of Gypsy Blanchard’s wheelchairs. “Now [that] is about when I panicked,” Kim Blanchard told “20/20,” as cited in the ABC News article. “We had never, ever, ever seen Gypsy not in a wheelchair.” It is safe to say that people were shocked when they found Gypsy Blanchard without her wheelchair and able to walk. It was even more shocking when it was revealed that Gypsy Blanchard was not ill at all. 

Gypsy Blanchard pled guilty to second degree murder and got sentenced to 10 years. Godejohn however pleaded not guilty, with his lawyers claiming that he had autism and a low IQ, so he should get a lesser sentence. Godejohn got sentenced to life in prison. 

A photo posted on Gypsy Blanchard’s instagram after her release from prison.

Gypsy Blanchard was released December 28, 2023 from Chillicothe Correctional Center, and started her new life as a free woman with her husband Ryan Anderson, whom she met in prison. Gypsy has been in many interviews and released a documentary telling her story on Lifetime TV. Gypsy Blancharde went viral for an explicit comment underneath one of Ryan’s instagram posts, and has been receiving lots of internet attention from fans and haters alike.

Munchausen by proxy is a serious mental illness and it’s important to be aware of the signs of munchausen by proxy so we can help people like Gypsy Rose Blanchard and Garret Spears, who were trapped in their own personal prisons. Gypsy Blanchard escaped, but at the cost of a life. Gypsy Blanchard came out with her documentary seriesThe Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard” to share her story, which will help spread awareness about the mental illness munchausen by proxy. 

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About the Contributor
Fiona Petticrew
Fiona Petticrew, Staff Writer
Senior Fiona Petticrew is in her first year of journalism. She plays soccer for the high school and is involved in musicals and show choir. She can be spotted by her curly brown hair and her awesome style! She loves taking pictures with her film camera and enjoys spending time with her dog Peter.

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