The Student News Site of Hazen High School

The Kilt

The Student News Site of Hazen High School

The Kilt

The Student News Site of Hazen High School

The Kilt

Gypsy-Rose Blanchard

Background, Release, and Rise to Fame

On June 15, 2015, Gypsy-Rose Blanchard and Nicholas Godejohn, her boyfriend at the time, were taken into custody to be questioned for her mother’s murder. The day prior, Clauddine Blanchard, also known as “Dee Dee,” was found dead, face down, in her bedroom after suffering from severe stab wounds.

Early life:

Gypsy-Rose grew up in Golden Meadow, Louisiana, where she lived alone with her mother, who worked as a nurse’s aide. She had a childhood plagued with a plethora of illnesses, including chronic conditions including leukemia, asthma, vision and hearing impairments, seizures, and muscular dystrophy, which left her in a wheelchair.

In 2005, her life took another turn after her apartment and medical records were destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. She and her mother relocated to southwestern Missouri, and in 2008, Habitat for Humanity built Gypsy-Rose a personalized home that accommodated her wheelchair.

There, her neighbors and the people around her viewed her as an inspiration for her bravery and strength through such hard times. Media outlets were eager to cover her story. According to ABC News, she became a local celebrity as people showered the two with gifts, cash donations, celebrity meet-and-greets, and a trip to Disney World from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Teen Years:

As Gypsy-Rose grew into her teenage years, she grew curious about discovering her own identity and began questioning her mother. At the time, she was seeing new medical professionals who speculated if Gypsy-Rose even had some of the illnesses her mother claimed she had. However, they never accumulated enough evidence to file a report.

Gypsy-Rose herself realized she didn’t need to use a feeding tube or wheelchair. However, her mother convinced her to stay in the wheelchair, and Gypsy-Rose obliged out of fear. Dee Dee often hit and chained Gypsy-Rose to her bed when she showed signs of suspicion or tried to escape. Their relationship behind the camera was not as picture-perfect as the media portrayed it to be.

With her condition, she wanted nothing more than to live like any other teen girl. She tried to connect with the outside world by talking to the girls in her neighborhood about boys, which her mother was quick to shut down.

Frustrated and determined, Gypsy-Rose discovered an online dating website without her mother’s knowledge, where she met Nicholas Godejohn. They spent two and a half years messaging back and forth, fantasizing about a life together. Finally, the two planned a meet-up at the movie theater, where Dee Dee immediately disapproved of their relationship. This created a long-lasting argument between Gypsy-Rose and Dee Dee, which fueled the fire in their already unstable relationship, so much so that Gypsy-Rose wanted her mother dead.

Escape:

Gypsy-Rose viewed her relationship with Godejohn both as an escape from reality and a literal chance to escape from her mother’s abuse and control. The argument Gypsy-Rose had with her mother was her tipping point, as she then asked Godejohn to help her escape, which involved killing her mother. Godejohn arrived at her house after Dee Dee had fallen asleep, and Gypsy-Rose provided him with a knife, duct tape, and gloves. During the actual murder, Gypsy-Rose hid in her bathroom, horrified by her mother’s screams and by the life-changing choice she made. Godejohn and Gypsy-Rose were quick to flee the scene and return to the motel Godejohn was staying at. In the motel room, Gypsy-Rose cried, regretting her actions, and begged her mother’s soul to forgive her.

Less than a week later, Gypsy-Rose posted a Facebook tweet, “That ***** is dead!” which alarmed the police. The police went to investigate Blanchard’s residence, where they found Dee Dee’s body. The Facebook post was also tracked to Godejohn’s home in Wisconsin, where they raided his home and took the pair into custody for questioning.

The aftermath:

After her escape, Gypsy-Rose came to the realization that all of her illnesses were made up, as she didn’t experience any issues after she stopped taking her medications. Her mother had made all of the illnesses up and used the wheelchair, feeding tube, and shaved head to deceive everyone, including Gypsy-Rose. It is believed that Dee Dee’s actions were the result of Munchausen by proxy, a disease in which a caretaker, usually a mother, fabricates symptoms of illness onto their children, often for sympathy or attention.

After further investigation, on July 5, 2016, Gypsy-Rose pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 10 years in prison due to her involvement in planning the murder.

While spending her time in prison, Gypsy-Rose was interviewed and shared, “Over here, I feel like I’m freer in prison than living with my mom. Because now I’m allowed to… just live like a normal woman.”

In the end, on February 22, 2019, Godejohn was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Love behind bars:

From behind bars in April 2019, Gypsy-Rose’s family friend announced that Gypsy-Rose and Ryan Scott Anderson were engaged. Anderson had originally reached out to Gypsy-Rose through a letter. Although Gypsy-Rose received many letters from admirers, Anderson’s letter stood out to her as he was also from Louisiana. Ever since then, they have been exchanging emails for a year and a half. After hitting it off in June of 2022, the two tied the knot by exchanging vows in prison, too eager to wait until Gypsy-Rose was released.

Release and social media fame:

On December 28, 2023, Gypsy-Rose was released after serving eight years of her sentence. Now, Gypsy-Rose is exploring her new-found freedom by spending time with her husband and family, shopping, traveling, and partaking in numerous interviews. She has a show, Prison Confessions of Gypsy-Rose Blanchard, where she speaks her truth and shares her experiences of what happened through her lens. With the opportunities to voice herself on news platforms such as People magazine, she shares, “Nobody will ever hear me say I’m glad she’s dead or I’m proud of what I did. I regret it every single day.” On The Associated Press, she says, “I’m ready for freedom. “I’m ready to expand, and I think that goes for every facet of my life.”

Throughout the years, her story has circulated, and even a movie adaptation of her life was made, bringing more attention to Gypsy-Rose. People who knew her story were curious and eager to know how she was feeling and her plans for the future, many taking to social media to share their anticipation for her release. She has been rapidly gaining media attention and celebrity treatment after her quick rise to fame on social media. Gypsy-Rose uploaded her “First selfie of Freedom!” on Instagram, which has attracted over 6.5 million likes. She has accumulated over 8.1 million followers on Instagram and 9.5 million followers on TikTok in a span of a few weeks. 

Her rapid rise to fame has sparked some controversy on social media, where some speculate about her transparency and intentions, others are uplifting and encouraging her social media presence, and some question if all of this attention is too much pressure for someone who has just been released. Will the internet turn on Gypsy-Rose? Will she be able to withstand the high demands surrounding cancel culture?

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Elle Clemmons, Staff
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  • H

    HazenhazenJan 29, 2024 at 9:56 am

    Amazing!

    Reply
  • H

    HazenhazenJan 29, 2024 at 9:56 am

    Amazing!

    Reply
  • H

    HazenhazenJan 29, 2024 at 9:39 am

    Great article

    Reply
  • H

    HazenhazenJan 29, 2024 at 9:39 am

    Great article

    Reply
  • H

    HazenhazenJan 29, 2024 at 9:39 am

    Great article!

    Reply
  • H

    HazenhazenJan 29, 2024 at 9:39 am

    Great article!

    Reply
  • H

    HazenhazenJan 29, 2024 at 9:39 am

    Great article!

    Reply
  • H

    HazenhazenJan 29, 2024 at 9:39 am

    Great article!

    Reply
  • H

    HazenhazenJan 29, 2024 at 9:39 am

    Great article!

    Reply
  • H

    HazenhazenJan 29, 2024 at 9:39 am

    Great article!

    Reply
  • H

    HazenhazenJan 29, 2024 at 9:38 am

    Great article!

    Reply