Gypsy Rose Blanchard, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for her role in her mother’s death in 2015, was released from a Missouri prison on December 28, 2022. Since her release, Blanchard has gained significant attention and support on social media as many sympathize with her story of enduring years of medical child abuse at the hands of her late mother, Dee Dee Blanchard.
Background on Gypsy Rose Blanchard Case
Dee Dee Blanchard subjected Gypsy to years of extensive and unnecessary medical procedures and treatments due to fabricated and induced illnesses in a condition known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Gypsy was made to use a wheelchair and feeding tube and told she had leukemia, muscular dystrophy, and other ailments, none of which she actually had.
At age 19, Gypsy began a secret online relationship with Nicholas Godejohn. In June 2015, Gypsy asked Godejohn to kill her mother at their Missouri home so she could escape her abuse. Godejohn stabbed Dee Dee Blanchard to death, while Gypsy hid in the bathroom. Both were arrested and convicted – Gypsy for second-degree murder, Godejohn for first-degree murder.
|Gypsy Rose Blanchard
|10 years in prison (pleaded guilty to second-degree murder)
|Life in prison without parole (convicted of first-degree murder)
Gypsy’s case and extreme medical child abuse brought widespread attention and sympathy over the years. Her early release after serving 85% of her sentence suggests she has been a model inmate.
internet Fame and Support For Gypsy Rose
Since her release last week, Gypsy Rose has rapidly become an internet celebrity. She shared her first TikTok video on December 31 which now has over 3 million views. Additional videos show her enjoying freedom with her new husband Ryan Scott Anderson who she married while in prison.
Her TikTok following exploded to over 200,000 in days. She also has over 30,000 Instagram followers awaiting glimpses into her new life. Commenters overwhelmingly express support, sympathy, and well wishes.
However, some are concerned the fame and attention could negatively impact her mental health and stability. Clinical psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere stated:
“In her condition, it’s going to be very difficult to navigate all of this attention. While many support her, there are also many who do not understand her journey and may trigger past trauma.”
Nonetheless, Gypsy seems optimistic about her future. In her first video, she wrote: “Finally free to live life how I choose.”
Marriage to Pen Pal Ryan Scott Anderson
While incarcerated, Gypsy Rose developed a relationship with 37-year-old Ryan Scott Anderson through a pen pal program. Anderson had seen the popular HBO documentary Mommy Dead and Dearest profiling Gypsy’s story which first sparked his interest.
They married in 2021 at the Chillicothe Correctional Center. In her first interview since her release with Entertainment Tonight, Gypsy described their intimate wedding and strong connection:
“We actually did consummate the marriage in the conjugal trailer…We get time alone, we get to kiss each other, we get to hold each other…”
Anderson was photographed picking Gypsy up from prison in a car with a “Hitman Hart” license plate – referring to his favorite wrestler. The two spent a romantic weekend on the Branson Belle riverboat. Her new life with a supportive husband seems a far cry from her traumatic upbringing.
Gypsy will live with Anderson at his Wisconsin home once her parole transfer goes through. Her mother and stepfather have also offered for her to stay with them in Louisiana which Gypsy called “extremely generous.”
|Ryan Scott Anderson
|37 years old
|Pest Control Technician
Plans and Aspirations After Prison
In her videos, Gypsy Rose reveals her simple goals – to travel, meet supporters, enjoy her interests, and advocate for those with disabilities.
“I want to actually start advocating for children that have disabilities or illnesses that are in the system…” she shared.
She hopes telling her story can prevent future cases like hers. For now, she’s focused on managing her parole terms, getting identification documents in order, finding healthcare, and transitioning to normal life.
When asked on social media if she plans to meet Taylor Swift (her favorite singer), Gypsy responded:
“I just want to focus on navigating life out here but I think karma has her number.”
While the big spotlight on her release was overwhelming, Gypsy aims to leverage the attention to educate people. However experts warn she still needs time to heal. Her attorney and family urge people to respect her privacy.
Concerns Over “Murderabilia” and Public Scrutiny
Gypsy’s explosion into a true crime internet star has raised ethical concerns. Criticism surfaced over merchandise like “Free Gypsy” t-shirts sold online which profit from her tragic story.
Additionally, support for her release fuels accusations she’s gotten preferential treatment compared to others. Public interest in salacious cases has been called “murderabilia” – having real life consequences for both victims and criminals when crimes become sensationalized media stories.
This scrutiny proves challenging for people re-entering society after serving time. Criminologist Belinda Parker commented:
“We talk about ‘rights to be forgotten’…Once you’ve done your time, do you have a right to get on with your job, your life?”
While Gypsy Rose navigates her newfound platform, her complex case begs serious questions about accountability, rehabilitation, ethics in true crime entertainment, and support for abuse survivors.
What Supporters Should Know
Well-meaning supporters hoping to uplift Gypsy Rose must understand the trauma she endured and long healing journey ahead. Developmental Impairments Specialist Dr. Marc Ellison advised:
“The public must avoid making light of her medical child abuse…Let her share her story when she wants to – on her own terms…Warm encouragement is great but she requires clinical support, not internet stans or memes.”
He explains Gypsy missed key life stages and lacks identity outside her abuse which amplified the control her mother had. As she discovers independence, people must respect her space to grow and learn on her own.
For now, Blanchard remains on parole including manual labor as part of her sentence. She was ordered to leave a recent Taylor Swift concert for safety reasons and must receive permission to leave Wisconsin once settled.
While her future plans involve disability advocacy, most experts agree she shouldn’t be seen as a spokesperson so soon. Support organizations aim to uplift her re-integration without pressure.
The release of Gypsy Rose Blanchard, victim of horrific medical child abuse who aided in her mother’s murder, made international news. Complete online strangers rejoice her freedom yet minimal thought goes to the complex trauma she endured for decades. The ethics around profiting from “murderabilia”, offering forgiveness too fast, and incessant public scrutiny all beg deeper questions about how society treats infamous cases.
As Gypsy herself said, she begins life as a 32 year old, never having known true independence from her wheelchair prison before. She revealed surprise about her lack of anger and professed Christian faith giving her empathy even for her late mother. With stable support from a husband who knows her past and various supporters, perhaps her dreams of advocating for abused and disabled persons can come true one step at a time. For now, giving Blanchard space to heal grows increasingly vital as the world watches closely.
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