(WPHL) – Gypsy Rose Blanchard, who infamously plotted to kill her mother, is set to be released from prison Thursday after serving more than seven years behind bars.
The now 32-year-old was sentenced to 10 years in prison in July 2016 after pleading guilty to second-degree murder for the death of his mother Clauddine “‘Dee Dee” Blanchard. Gypsy’s ex-boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn, is serving a life sentence for fatally stabbing Dee Dee.
For those unfamiliar with the case, which inspired the Hulu series “The Act,” some experts believe Gypsy was a victim of Munchausen syndrome by proxy — a condition in which a parent, guardian or guardian fabricates symptoms to give the impression that their child is ill.
Throughout her childhood, Gypsy was forced to use a wheelchair and undergo unnecessary medical procedures. Dee Dee began subjecting Gypsy to false medical diagnoses shortly after her birth in 1991, first claiming the infant had sleep apnea, lawyers say.
When Gypsy was 8 years old, Dee Dee began reporting more serious illnesses, like leukemia and muscular dystrophy, which required a wheelchair and a feeding tube.
The couple moved from Louisiana to Aurora, Missouri, in September 2005, after Dee Dee claimed she and her daughter were victims of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans. She also said Gypsy’s medical records were destroyed in the storm.
Gypsy and Dee Dee received an outpouring of support, including free charity trips and large sums of cash. Habitat for Humanity also built them a home in Springfield, Missouri, complete with accessibility features like a wheelchair ramp.
In June 2015, when Gypsy was 23, she arranged for Nicholas Godejohn, whom she met on a Christian dating site, to travel to Springfield to kill his mother, according to prosecutors.
Gypsy said Godejohn went to Dee Dee’s house, where Gypsy gave him gloves, a knife and duct tape. While Gypsy hid in the bathroom, prosecutors said Godejohn entered Dee Dee’s bedroom and stabbed her 17 times. After the murder, Gypsy and Godejohn fled to his home in Wisconsin where they were arrested a few days later.
Gypsy avoided trial since she accepted a plea deal, but she did testify at Godejohn’s trial. She claimed it was her idea to kill her mother and that her relationship with Godejohn was kept secret because Dee Dee “controlled every aspect” of her life.
She said she discovered when she was 19 that she was not ill, but became aware of her condition after her arrest.
At trial, Godejohn’s defense argued that he was motivated to kill Dee Dee in order to save Gypsy from abuse. He also added that he was “blindly in love” with Gypsy.
The Missouri Department of Corrections confirmed that Gypsy will be released on December 28 after serving 85 percent of her 10-year prison sentence. She is also scheduled to release an ebook titled “Released: Conversations on the Eve of Freedom” on January 9, 2024.
NewsNation’s Caitlyn Shelton contributed to this story.
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