Gypsy Rose Blanchard, who conspired to kill her mother Dee Dee Blanchard in 2015, was released from prison on parole late last month after serving seven years of her 10-year sentence. Now 32 years old, Gypsy reflected on her traumatic upbringing, time in prison, and hopes for the future in several recent interviews.
Dee Dee Blanchard had subjected Gypsy to years of extensive and unnecessary medical procedures and confinement to a wheelchair due to fabricated health conditions in a severe case of Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Gypsy eventually plotted with her boyfriend at the time to kill her mother as a way out.
The shocking crime and bizarre circumstances captured widespread attention and spotlighted the extremes of maternal abuse. As Gypsy begins her new life of freedom, many are wondering what comes next for the woman who was failed so terribly by the adults who should have protected her.
Upbringing Defined by Abuse and Manipulation
According to Gypsy, her mother Dee Dee began exaggerating and fabricating her health problems at a very young age, later progressing to commit outright fraud to obtain benefits, trips, housing, and charity assistance.
“I don’t even remember when it started happening so frequently,” Gypsy told ABC News. “I was taken to see doctor after doctor, having test after test done. There was never any evidence there was anything physically wrong with me. She would just say that the tests were inaccurate or the doctors didn’t know what they were talking about.”
By the time she reached adulthood, Gypsy had allegedly been treated for sleep apnea, epilepsy, asthma, muscular dystrophy, vision and hearing impairment, and cognitive delays that required her to use a feeding tube and wheelchair – none of which she actually had. Her medications caused real side effects like weight gain and tooth decay, however.
Dee Dee tightly controlled Gypsy’s life, homeschooling her to isolate her further and prevent any chance she might share details about her health or their life.
Desperation Leads to Deadly Plan
After connecting online in 2013 with Nicholas Godejohn, a man several years her senior from Wisconsin, a desperate plan began taking shape. By 2015, Gypsy could no longer tolerate her confinement and abuse at her the hands of her controlling mother. With Godejohn’s help, she plotted Dee Dee’s murder in the hopes of escaping to a new life with her boyfriend.
“I talked him into coming to Missouri and discussed a room for him to stay in at a hotel near my home,” she admitted in the documentary interviews. “I gave him the knife and told him exactly where my bedroom and my mom’s bedroom was. I knew all along this was going to happen.”
On June 10, 2015, Godejohn traveled from Wisconsin and checked into a motel outside Springfield, Missouri. The next day Gypsy allowed him to enter her home late at night where he brutally stabbed Dee Dee Blanchard to death in her bedroom while Gypsy hid in the bathroom.
The crime represented the tragic breaking point caused by more than two decades of Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Gypsy stated plainly in interviews that while she takes accountability for her role in her mother’s death, the blame lies fully with her abuser.
“My mother expected me to act younger than my age not just physically, but emotionally and mentally,” Gypsy said. “I feel sympathy for that little girl that was raised in such an unconventional way… I was a victim of my mother’s deception and lies that led to her murder.”
Arrest, Trial, and Adjusting to Prison Life
Gypsy at first tried to get away with the murder by claiming innocence, but police saw through the cover story quickly. Both she and Godejohn were arrested and charged with first-degree murder less than 48 hours after Dee Dee Blanchard’s body was discovered in her Missouri home.
Ultimately Gypsy accepted a plea bargain to second-degree murder in 2016. As part of the agreement she testified against Godejohn at his trial, where prosecutors were successfully able to prove he initiated the murder plot with Gypsy’s disabled status a major factor motivating his actions. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
Gypsy received her 10 year sentence in 2016, eligible for parole after 85% of the term was served. She described her time in a Missouri state prison as often boring but relatively quiet, as other inmates recognized from media coverage that she had been a long-term victim of abuse. She did share one alarming incident when another prisoner obtained her personal information and identification and attempted to steal her identity.
Overall Gypsy kept busy with jobs around the prison, including working on a road crew and delivering commissary orders to other prisoners. She also completed her GED and took courses on anger management and meditation. She relied on a small support system led by family friend Fancy Macelli.
Parole and Release
Gypsy’s parole hearing finally occurred last month in December 2023. In emotional testimony she expressed remorse over her mother’s death, shared details of her traumatic upbringing likely for the first time with the panel, and asked for leniency to start rebuilding a normal life.
“I believe I have done everything in my ability to better myself and learn from my mistake,” Gypsy told the parole board. “If you give me this second chance, I will not let any one of you down.”
The panel unanimously agreed she had served adequate time and approved parole with the requirement that she complete mandated counseling sessions. Gypsy walked out the gates of the Chillicothe Correctional Center in Missouri on December 30, 2023.
Long time supporter Fancy was there to meet her with clothes she could change into after removing her prison uniform. After a long hug, Gypsy breathed deeply of her first fresh gulps of air in over seven years.
When asked for her immediate thoughts after release Gypsy turned philosophical. “Freedom is an abstract feeling. For so long I thought about this very moment, anticipating the emotions I might experience,” she mused. “As I look around taking in my new environment, I accept this renewed freedom knowing I am finally the one controlling my daily choices.”
The next few days were a whirlwind for Gypsy. She enjoyed home cooked meals, received new clothes and personal items, and got reacquainted with technology like computers and smartphones which significantly advanced since her conviction.
She also started attending mandatory counseling sessions to meet parole requirements, seeing therapists who specialize in trauma from abusive situations.
“The counseling helps me process emotions from the many traumatic experiences inflicted on me by my mom,” said Gypsy. “I’m creating healthy coping techniques I never had the chance to learn before.”
Hopes for a Quiet, Normal Life
So what comes next for Gypsy Rose Blanchard? She said her main goals are integrating into normal society and gaining some anonymity.
“I just want a quiet, normal life – it’s all I’ve dreamed about during long nights in prison,” she told reporters. “I know there will always be public interest since I committed a horrible crime. Maybe by avoiding the spotlight I’ll get lucky and people will focus on other news.”
She has no specific career plans yet but indicated she would avoid any potential lucrative media deals about her story, believing the public attention would be counterproductive. She also hopes to privately settle her still pending wrongful death lawsuit against several Missouri agencies without a drawn out court battle.
There seems to be little danger of Gypsy falling back into criminal activity. All indications point to an emotionally and physically scarred woman who wants stability, healthy relationships, and to fade from notoriety.
While Gypsy tries to steer her life in a better direction, questions still remain about several aspects of her past and future. These include:
Will more concrete information ever emerge about Gypsy’s first 20 years? So much occurred out of public view and Gypsy herself was too young to fully understand her own medical history and family background. Many advocate for access to sealed records that could provide missing context.
Is Gypsy still in contact with Nicholas Godejohn, her former boyfriend and co-conspirator in her mother’s murder? Parole mandates no communication but their relationship status remains unclear now that she has regained independence.
Has Gypsy reconciled with her biological father and other family relatives? There is little on record about their interactions before or after the murder.
For now Gypsy just wants stability and privacy. Only time will tell if her hope for a quiet life becomes reality as she works to recover from unimaginable trauma. Her long term ability to reintegrate into society poses difficult questions about agency, culpability, and if decades of extreme victimization can ever be overcome.
The murder of Dee Dee Blanchard shocked the public with its associated bizarre and grotesque details. But behind the outrage was the revelation that a child had suffered immense long term abuse without intervention from those responsible for her wellbeing.
As Gypsy Rose Blanchard works to build a life outside of her past trauma and prison bars, perhaps there is still hope for a positive outcome despite consequences of the violence she took part in. In many ways her new freedom represents liberation from two prisons – one created by her mother’s manipulation and the other a literal correctional institution.
The next phase poses significant challenges. But now finally given an opportunity denied since childhood to take genuine control and make her own choices, Gypsy has a chance to write the remaining chapters of her life on her own terms.
To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.