Warning: This post contains some mature language.
June 14, 2015 in Springfield, Missouri…
A Facebook post on the joint account for Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose Blanchard read, “That Bitch is dead!”
This lead to fury of responses. Friends from all over became immediately concerned and asked those close to the mother and daughter to check on them. Calls were made to Dee Dee and the Greene County Sheriff’s department. Deputies were sent to the home; a little pink house built for the Blanchards by Habitat for Humanity.
Neighbors rushed to the house, but the Sheriff’s department was unable to enter the residence without a search warrant. They did allow a neighbor to climb in a window. He couldn’t find either of the women and was concerned that all 3 of Gypsy Rose’s wheelchairs were still in the house.
Once the search warrant was obtained, police entered the home and found Dee Dee stabbed to death on her bed, but Gypsy Rose was no where to be found. When she was found days later 600 miles away, the story she told shocked her community, family and friends.
Gypsy Rose was born July 1, 1991. Despite being premature, she seemed healthy. Her father was 17 year old Rod Blanchard, who had separated from 24 year old Dee Dee before the birth of their only child.
At 3 months old, Dee Dee began to tell others that Gypsy Rose was suffering from sleep apnea. By the age of 7, Gypsy Rose was confined to a wheelchair. She was removed from school due to her illnesses which included: leukemia, muscular dystrophy and brain damage caused by her premature birth, amongst other issues.
After the dissolution of Rod and Dee Dee’s marriage, she and Gypsy Rose moved in with her father and stepmother. During this time, Dee Dee was arrested several times. Each time was for minor offenses, such as writing bad checks. Dee Dee spent much of this time caring for her ailing stepmother who took ill after Dee Dee went to live with her.
Dee Dee’s parents became critical of the way she treated Gypsy Rose, so the two left Springfield and moved to Slidell, Louisiana. Shortly after they left, Dee Dee’s stepmother made a full recovery. She would later accuse her stepdaughter of poisoning her. Others also accused Dee Dee of starving her mother to death. These accusations were never proven and the police were not called to investigate.
Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose left their family behind and did not tell them where they had moved. They would not know of the situation in which their granddaughter was living until the news broke of Dee Dee’s death.
While living in Louisiana, the two lived on government assistance and child support paid by Rod, who regularly called and sent birthday and Christmas gifts. He scheduled visits, but did not see Gypsy Rose because something always “came up,” usually related to her many health issues.
Gyspy Rose was a regular visitor to the many hospitals and clinics in the area. Dee Dee now complained that Gypsy Rose was having seizures. She was taking multiple medications each day and underwent several surgeries, including the insertion of a feeding tube, while living in Louisiana.
In August 2005, the apartment the two women were living in (Gypsy Rose was now 14 years old) was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose were flown to Missouri free of charge to be closer to family.
Gypsy Rose was named the 2007 Child of the Year by a foundation for patients with feeding tubes.
In 2008, Habitat for Humanity learned the story of a young girl, unable to walk, and her mother displaced by Katrina. They offered to build a home for the two.
Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose received an outpouring of help from people across the country that included airfare to visit specialists, trips to Disney World and tickets (with backstage passes) to Miranda Lambert concerts. The singer even donated $6000 to help Gypsy Rose with living and medical expenses. All the while, Rod continued to pay $1200 a month in child support.
Gypsy Rose was growing up and would soon be an adult which meant that many of the charities offering money and services for children would no longer help Dee Dee survive. Claiming that all of their documents had been destroyed in the hurricane, Dee Dee obtained a birth certificate for Gypsy Rose stating that she had been born in 1995, buying her 4 additional years.
With her oversized glasses, bald head and tiny frame, Gypsy Rose passed for much younger than her actual age.
What the world didn’t know was that Gypsy Rose, with exception of a lazy eye, was perfectly healthy. She could walk, but didn’t because her mother told her that she couldn’t. As she got older, she would walk around her bedroom late at night, when her mother was already asleep so that she wouldn’t know. Dee Dee told Gypsy Rose that she had cancer and that chemotherapy would cause her hair to fall out, so they should just go ahead and shave her head. Gypsy Rose believed her. A combination of medication and lack of care caused all of Gypsy Rose’s teeth to fall out and her mother applied numbing creams to her gums that caused her to drool. She convinced doctors that Gypsy Rose needed her salivary glands removed. Through every doctor’s appointment, Gypsy Rose remained silent. She was instructed to never speak to the doctors that treated her. When anyone spoke to Gypsy Rose, her mother held her hand. She later reported that when she said something her mother didn’t like, Dee Dee would squeeze Gypsy Rose’s hand to get her to be quiet.
Only one doctor ever questioned Dee Dee. He ran tests on Gypsy Rose and found that she, in fact, did not have muscular dystrophy. Upon hearing this, Dee Dee immediately left the office and never returned. He suspected that Dee Dee had Munchausen Syndrome by proxy. This is when a caregiver, usually a parent, feigns or causes illness or injury in the person they are caring for in an effort to gain attention or sympathy.
In 2009, an anonymous report was made to police claiming that Dee Dee was faking her daughter’s illnesses. It was also reported that she had changed Gypsy Rose’s birth certificate to commit fraud. The doctor that accused Dee Dee of having Munchausen by proxy denies that he made the call.
Police did a wellness check on the Blanchards, but did not find any evidence to substantiate the claim and no further investigation was conducted.
By this time, Gypsy Rose was an adult, despite her mother’s claims that she was only 14. (Gypsy Rose would tell an interviewer in 2017 that from 2001-2015, she had no idea how old she actually was.). She was beginning to rebel against her mother. She had been attending sci-fi conventions with her mother and their mutual friends. Gypsy Rose began to see how other women her age interacted with one another. She wondered why she wasn’t allowed to go out alone and why she didn’t have any friends her own age. She also began to spend a lot of time on social media and the internet.
In 2010, Gypsy Rose walked to a neighbor’s house and asked for a ride to visit a man she had met on the internet. Dee Dee found out and publicly humiliated her before taking her back home.
In 2011, Gypsy Rose escaped with another man that she met on the internet. Her mother tracked her down and threatened to report him to the police claiming that Gypsy Rose was only 16 (she was actually 20 years old). After this incident, Dee Dee smashed Gypsy Rose’s computer and phone. She claimed later that he mother then tied her to the bed and left her there for 2 weeks. This is also when Gypsy Rose claims her mother’s physical abuse escalated and that she was often struck with a metal clothes hanger when she did not “behave.”
From then on, Gyspy Rose would have to sneak around to get on the internet, often waiting until her mother went to bed.
In 2012, she created an account on the website Christiandatingforfree.com. There she met a man named Nicholas Godejohn from Big Bend, Wisconsin. He was 24 years old. She was 21 (but everyone believed her to be 17).
Nicholas was a bit of a shady character himself. He is reported to be autistic and Gypsy Rose claims that he suffers from multiple personality disorder. He had been arrested for masturbating at a McDonalds. The online relationship between the two lasted for 3 years. During this time, records show that Nicholas introduced Gypsy Rose to the world of BDSM where she claimed that she would take on different personas based on each of his different personalities, one of which was named Victor and was the darkest of Nicholas’s alter-egos.
In 2014, Gypsy Rose told a neighbor that she and Nicholas planned to elope. The neighbor, thinking that Gypsy Rose was 19 and severely handicapped, was afraid that Nicholas trying to take advantage of her.
In 2015, Gypsy Rose and her mother were going to attend a showing of the movie Cinderella. She made plans to meet up with Nicholas for the first time at the theatre where they would be dressed up as Cinderella and Prince Charming. Nicholas pretended to be a stranger that just happened to sit next to Gypsy Rose and Dee Dee in the theatre. During the film, they snuck away and had sex in the men’s bathroom. Shortly after this interaction, Gyspy Rose asked Nicholas a question that would change all of their lives forever.
In a Facebook conversation, Gypsy Rose asked Nicholas, “Would you kill my mother for me?” That was then the two began plotting Dee Dee’s murder, which they referred to as “Plan B.”
The two planned for Nicholas to travel to Springfield on June 12, 2015. Gypsy Rose and her mother spent most of the day traveling to and from a doctor’s appointment. When they settled in for the night, Gypsy Rose told Nicholas to come over. When he arrived, she gave him a pair of latex gloves and a knife. She directed him to her mother’s bedroom. Nicholas told her to hide in the bathroom until it was over.
Nicholas surprised Dee Dee in her bedroom where she called out to Gypsy Rose asking who this man was. He stabbed her multiple times while she was still in her bed crying out for Gypsy Rose to come help her. The two had sex in Gyspy Rose’s bed before taking $4000 from the house and checking into a local motel.
They two boarded a bus the next day and headed for Big Bend.
Once at the home of Nicholas’s parents, Gypsy Rose began to worry that her mother might not be found for days. She told Nicholas to post on the Facebook account she and her mother shared. He posted “That Bitch is dead!” Then, 17 minutes later he posted, “I fucken slashed that fat pig and raped her sweet innocent daughter, Her scream was soooo fucken loud lol.”
Police spoke with the neighbor that Gypsy Rose had told about Nicholas. They traced the IP address of the Facebook posts and confirmed that they came from him. On June 15, 2015, the police raided the home where Nicholas and Gypsy Rose were staying. They were both arrested and taken into custody for the murder of Dee Dee Blanchard.
It was a shock to everyone that knew the women. Footage of Gypsy Rose’s arrest was the first time anyone had seen her out of her wheelchair. She was extradited back to Springfield and held on a $1 million bond for first-degree murder.
Gypsy Rose was offered and accepted a plea bargain for second-degree murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison. She was facing a life sentence or the death penalty if the case was brought to trial.
The trial for Nicholas is set to begin in November 2018. His lawyers intend to argue that he had diminished capacity due to autism. He had undergone intense psychiatric testing and his lawyers claim that is I.Q. is 82 (an I.Q. of 90 is low average).
In 2017, HBO released a documentary featuring interviews with Gypsy Rose, her family and neighbors called Mommy Dead and Dearest. Rod created a petition on the website Change.org requesting that the governor of Missouri review Gypsy Rose’s case in hopes that she will not be required to serve the full 10 years. He and his wife have agreed to let Gypsy Rose live with them upon her release. They are in regular phone contact and visit Gyspy Rose in prison regularly.
Gypsy Rose said in an interview that she is remorseful for her crime. She was asked why she never just stood up in public to expose her mother. She said that it never even occurred to her to do so. She said that she was too scared of what would happen to her if she didn’t obey Dee Dee’s wishes.
Gypsy Rose said in her interview that she misses her mother, but that she feels more free in prison than she ever did living with Dee Dee. “…before, with my mom, it’s, like, I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t have friends. I couldn’t go outside, you know… Now, I’m allowed to… just live like a normal woman.” 
A video summary of this week’s post can be found at