Clauddine “Dee Dee” Blanchard and her daughter pictured together, Gypsy Rose Blanchard (Image Dr. Phil/screengrab)
Gypsy Rose Blanchard, 32, the woman who helped kill her mother for forcing her to fake debilitating illnesses for years, is out of prison. The Missouri Department of Corrections released her from the Chillicothe Correctional Center at 3:30 a.m. on Thursday, a prison spokesperson told Law&Crime. Out on parole, she served 85% of her 10-year prison sentence.
She and her ex-boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn, 34, both admitted to plotting the murder of her mother, Clauddine “Dee Dee” Blanchard, 48, because the victim, likely living with Munchausen syndrome by proxy, forced Gypsy Blanchard to pretend to be sick since childhood to cheat charities out of money. The fabricated conditions included leukemia, muscular dystrophy, and brain damage. Dee Dee Blanchard forced her daughter into a wheelchair even though Gypsy Blanchard was perfectly capable of walking. Meanwhile, she isolated Gypsy Blanchard from other family members, including the defendant’s father, stepmother, and half-siblings.
That situation culminated in 2015 when Godejohn brutally stabbed Dee Dee Blanchard 17 times at the Godejohn home. Gypsy Blanchard agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder, but Godejohn reportedly rejected his plea offers. He went to trial, where jurors convicted him of first-degree murder and armed criminal action. He is serving a sentence of life without parole.
Gypsy Blanchard has said she started to rebel as a teenager, but her mother beat her in response. She claimed she attempted to run away in 2011, but her mother caught her, smashed her computer and cellphone, chained her to a bed, and withheld food from her. According to the testimony at trial, Dee Dee Blanchard also said she would never let Gypsy Rose date or get married.
But the younger Blanchard did start dating. Testifying on Godejohn’s behalf at his trial, she said she met him in 2012 on a Christian dating website and that he quickly learned she didn’t need a wheelchair. Then in May 2014, Gypsy Blanchard, amid Dee Dee Blanchard’s escalating abuse, suggested the idea of killing her mother. That’s what happened just over a year later in June 2015.
Godejohn’s defense maintained that he lacked the mental condition to be culpable for first-degree murder: Godejohn had autism and a low IQ.
The prosecution said, however, that the defendant had more than a year to deliberate on the crime. They highlighted his independent decision-making.
“And in fact, in leaving the decision of how to kill her up to the defendant, you never told him to stab her 17 separate times, right?” a prosecutor asked Blanchard during cross-examination.
“No,” she said.
“And you certainly didn’t tell him to cut her neck down to the bone, right?” asked the prosecutor.
Blanchard looked away for a moment, then answered the question.
“No,” she said, her voice straining.
Prosecutors said it was Dee Dee Blanchard who should’ve faced charges; she should not have been murdered.
Her daughter voiced regret for the killing, speaking to People in a Wednesday report.
“She was a sick woman and unfortunately I wasn’t educated enough to see that,” said Gypsy Blanchard, who has broken up with Godejohn and married another man. “She deserved to be where I am, sitting in prison doing time for criminal behavior.”
Her mother did not deserve what happened to her, she said.
“It’s a journey,” she said. “I’m still really trying to come to a place of forgiveness for her, for myself and the situation. I still love my mom. And I’m starting to understand that it was something that was maybe out of her control, like an addict with an impulse. That helps me with coping and accepting what happened.”
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