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A Brief Breakdown of the Gypsy Rose Blanchard Case

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

Gypsy Rose Blanchard was released from prison on Dec. 28, 2023, and has gained a great deal of attention since then. To most, her story is only recognizable due to the Hulu series “The Act”. People primarily know her as the daughter who killed her abusive mother, but there is much more to her story.

1991: The Year Gypsy Was Born

When Gypsy was born, her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, had her tested for sleep apnea. However, the doctors did not find anything wrong with Gypsy. Regardless, Dee Dee continued to tell loved ones that her daughter was ill and needed special attention.

Eventually, Dee Dee convinced everyone in her life that Gypsy was suffering from leukemia, epilepsy, and various other illnesses. She even went as far as shaving Gypsy’s head, putting her in a wheelchair, and giving her a feeding tube.

2005: Dee Dee and Gypsy Lose Their House to Hurricane Katrina

Dee Dee was able to manipulate doctors in Louisiana into thinking that Gypsy suffered a plethora of illnesses that she did not actually have. Because Gypsy was given various medications for these fake illnesses, she developed real issues such as acid reflux.

Due to the loss of their home in Louisiana, Dee Dee and Gypsy were given a new house in Springfield, Missouri. Dee Dee frequently used Hurricane Katrina as an excuse for why Gypsy did not have any medical files. That way, more doctors were willing to believe that Gypsy was a fairly sick child.

2007-2009: Nearly Exposed

Despite fooling many doctors, Dee Dee Blanchard was unable to persuade Dr. Flasterstein that Gypsy suffered from conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy. Dr. Flasterstein became suspicious when he found that there was nothing wrong with Gypsy, but he did not have enough evidence to call Child Protective Services (CPS). 

Even though Dr. Flasterstein did not have enough credible information to report Dee Dee to CPS, another doctor called the authorities to have them investigate the Blanchard household. Unfortunately, CPS did not have sufficient evidence to move forward with the case. 

2011: Gypsy’s First Escape

After meeting a man at a science fiction convention, Gypsy decided to purchase a burner phone to talk to this man. She believed he could help her escape her mother. 

Gypsy made the bold decision to meet this man at a hotel in Missouri in hopes of starting a new life with him. But shortly after Gypsy arrived at the hotel, Dee Dee came looking for her and brought her back home. 

Once Gypsy returned home, Dee Dee’s abuses became more harsh and inhumane. Dee Dee strapped Gypsy to her bed and put bells on all the doors. Gypsy was severely punished for leaving her mother and was once again under her watchful eye. 

2012: The Introduction of Nicholas Godejohn

Despite the punishments and abuses that occurred after Gypsy attempted to escape, she still sought freedom from her mother. In 2012, Gypsy joined a Christian dating site on a laptop that was given to her by the Make-a-Wish Foundation. 

Through the Christian dating site, Gypsy was able to meet Nicholas Godejohn. Their interactions started out wholesome and quickly became gruesome. Nicholas had outrageous fantasies that involved murder, and Gypsy was desperate to get rid of her mother. 

2015: The Murder of Dee Dee Blanchard

After years of conversing with one another over the internet, Gypsy and Nicholas decided to kill Dee Dee Blanchard. Nicholas’s alter ego, Victor, was eager to fulfill his murderous fantasies. 

Gypsy and Nicholas devised a plan to have Dee Dee stabbed to death in her sleep. On June 9, Nicholas stabbed Dee Dee 17 times and fled with Gyspy to his home in Wisconsin. Shortly after Dee Dee was murdered, the authorities tracked down Nicholas and Gypsy due to concerning Facebook messages that were posted to Dee Dee’s account.

2016: Gypsy is Sentenced to Jail

On July 5, Gypsy pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 10 years in prison (the minimum sentence for second-degree murder). Gypsy stated that prison was more freeing than living with her mother. 


On Dec. 28, 2023, Gypsy’s prison sentence ended two years earlier than it was supposed to. She now advocates for those who suffer from Munchausen Syndrome by proxy, a psychological condition in which a caretaker seeks attention by pretending those who are in their care are ill. 

Gypsy states that she regrets what she did to her mom and she wishes that it could’ve happened differently. 

*All information came from Desert News and Harpers Bazaar.

Maya Paustenbaugh is a writer for the Her Campus University of Colorado-Boulder chapter. Outside of Her Campus, Maya works at the CU Boulder Bookstore on campus and enjoys reading in her free time. She was one of the editors of her high school yearbook for two years and is currently a multimedia journalist intern for Bucket List Community Cafe. Maya is a junior studying Journalism with a minor in Political Science and Leadership. In her free time, Maya enjoys going to the gym, re-watching Harry Potter, and visiting her family in Fort Collins, CO. She also loves any water related activity and baking (especially cakes). Maya learned how to ski when she lived in Germany and can be found skiing around Colorado in the winter!