In July 2015, Gypsy Rose accepted a plea deal for the charge of second-degree murder following the fatal stabbing of her mother Dee Dee Blanchard by Rose’s then-boyfriend Nicholas Godejohn. Deputies found Blanchard face down in a pool of blood and feared that Gypsy Rose might have been abducted by the murderer.
An overwhelming amount of evidence led detectives to Nicholas’ house in Wisconsin, where they found Godejohn and Gypsy. Before the murder, everybody knew Gypsy to be a sickly child, but it later came out that Dee Dee made up Gypsy’s alleged disorders because Blanchard suffered from a medical condition known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy. The disorder causes a caretaker or a parent to exaggerate, fabricate, or induce illnesses in a person under their care to obtain sympathy or attention.
Gypsy Rose plans to have a book about her experiences published by the time she is eligible for parole in December 2023
When Gypsy’s told her story, many found it difficult not to sympathize with her. She had orchestrated her mother’s murder, but she’d seen no other way of getting out of the situation. Dee Dee subjected Gypsy to unnecessary medication and controlled her through psychological and physical abuse. Dr. Marc Feldman, an expert in Munchausen syndrome by proxy, described Gypsy as a hostage of her mother:
“The control was total in the same sense that the control of a kidnapped victim sometimes is total. Her daughter was, in essence, a hostage, and I think we can understand the crime that occurred subsequently in terms of a hostage trying to gain escape.”
Prosecutors sympathized with Gypsy due to the abuse she suffered. They offered Rose a plea deal that would see her spend a minimum of 10 years in prison. Gypsy has approached prison with positivity and has engaged in several self-improvement causes.
She is a facilitator of a program called the Impact of Crime on Victims Class. She told the Springfield News-Leader that the courses have taught her how to impact the community positively. Gypsy plans to become an advocate for victims of child abuse, particularly victims of Munchausen syndrome by proxy. She hopes that, via a tell-all book about her experiences, she will help victims of child abuse. She said:
“I am excited for what the future holds. Spreading awareness by educating others on how to combat child abuse has become my personal passion. And by sharing my own life story, as a survivor of abuse, I am able to give those who are too afraid to speak a strong voice.”
Rose has her first parole hearing in December 2021 and could be released on parole as early as December 2023. She is pleading with people to write letters to the Missouri Division of Probation and Parole, advocating for her release.
There were rumors that Gypsy could be released early to curb the spread of coronavirus in crowded prisons. The reports turned out to be false. “Gypsy Rose Blanchard will remain behind bars throughout the coronavirus pandemic,” a source told E! Online. “Gypsy’s prison facility is not granting early releases.”
Some of Gypsy’s friends and family object to her release on parole
Rose’s family and friends worry that she will re-offend if released on parole. A family friend said Gypsy has unresolved emotional issues: she sends unhinged emails to loved ones and skips from one online relationship to another.
“I’m afraid she’ll meet someone and marry him,” the friend told In Touch Weekly. “A lot of Gypsy’s suitors just want fame at the end of the day. One of the guys was 20 years older; they’ve already broken up. Some of the guys have even gone to prison to meet Gypsy.”
Titania Gisclair and Fancy Marcelli, Gypsy’s loved ones, told In Touch Weekly they worry about Gypsy’s release. They opine that Rose is yet to resolve her childhood trauma, which could send her back to prison. Fancy fears that Gypsy’s faking it for the parole board:
“She doesn’t want counseling, which the prison offers. She doesn’t feel that she needs any help. She needs better people around her. I fear she is putting on a show for the parole board and has learned nothing behind bars.”
Nevertheless, Titania and Fancy want the best for Rose. “I just want the best for her,” Marcelli said. “Her lawyer is great, he did an amazing job. I want her to come out and live a good life, but she needs intense help.”
To people’s surprise, Gypsy’s health improved after she went to prison
For 23 years, Dee Dee Blanchard lied that Gypsy was terminally ill. The extent of her deception was frankly astonishing. She managed to lie to doctors, and if a doctor didn’t agree with her, she stopped seeing them. Blanchard gave Gypsy medication to bring out certain symptoms, and due to her background as a nurse’s assistant, she knew exactly what to say when confronted. And that’s barely the tip of the iceberg.
When police found Rose in Wisconsin, they were surprised that she neither needed a wheelchair, nor did she need help breathing. She had short, spiky hair, but that’s because her mother shaved it to make it look like she had cancer.
Most people lose weight after going to prison, but Gypsy thrived. She told 20/20 that she felt freer in prison than she’d ever felt with her mom. “I feel like I’m more free in prison, than with living with my mom,” Rose said. “Because now, I’m allowed to just live like a normal woman.”
Gypsy told Dr. Phil that she is not glad that her mother is dead, but she is happy that Dee Dee no longer controls her life. “I’m glad that I’m out of that situation, but I’m not happy she’s dead,” Gypsy said.
She told BuzzFeed that she believes Dee Dee would have been a great mother if she had to take care of someone who was sick. “I think she would have been the perfect mom for someone that actually was sick,” Gypsy explained.
Gypsy was engaged to a prison pen pal named Ken, but they called off the engagement
In April 2019, a family friend broke the news that Gypsy was engaged to a prison pen pal. “It’s very exciting for her, she’s very excited,” Fancy Macelli told E! News. At the time, Gypsy didn’t have an engagement ring, so a prisoner who was getting divorced gave Gypsy her wedding band.
“Another inmate was getting divorced and gave her that for her to just have, so that she could feel good about it,” Fancy explained. “They’ll go together and pick out rings, obviously later, at a time when she’s out and they could do that and have their own intimate moment.”
Ken contacted Gypsy after he saw a documentary about her story. According to Macelli, their friendship rapidly morphed into a relationship. Gypsy and Ken had agreed to marry after she got out of prison, but the wedding won’t happen as the couple broke off their engagement. In May 2020, a source told E! News:
“Gypsy has not resumed her romantic relationship with her ex-boyfriend Ken since breaking things off with him. She is remaining focused on bettering herself. She currently has no plans to enter into another relationship until after she is released from prison.”