Munchausen Syndrome and Murder: The Life of Gypsy Rose Blanchard

On December 28, Gypsy Rose Blanchard was released from her prison sentence for her assistance in the murder of her abusive mother, Dee Dee Blanchard. This complex case garnered widespread recognition with an inspired television series named “The Act” and a documentary named “Mommy Dead and Dearest.” After her eight-year prison sentence, Gyspy has noted that she is “ready for freedom.” 

Gypsy’s mother had Munchausen Syndrome by proxy, a psychological condition where a mother falsifies their child’s illness often for attention and sympathy. In Gypsy’s case, her mother claimed Gypsy suffered from leukemia, muscular dystrophy, and other illnesses, forcing her to use a wheelchair, feeding tube, and oxygen tank. At a young age, Gypsy was unaware of her mother’s fabrications, as she was homeschooled and sheltered from other family and peers. Her mother had even lied about Gypsy’s age to make her lie more realistic, continually shaved Gypsy’s head to keep up an appearance, and would frequently switch doctors if they detected any fraudulence. In response to the ruse, Gypsy’s mother was praised, the two met Country singer Miranda Lambert, and both received many donations and trips. However, as Gypsy grew older and created an online presence, she became more aware of her mother’s abuse. 

In her trial, Gypsy testified that her mother gradually became more physically abusive, beating and even chaining her to a bed. When Gyspy met her then-boyfriend Nick Godejohn through a Christian dating site, she was ready to be “free of her (mother’s) hold.” Godejohn was visiting Gypsy in her hometown of Missouri when she convinced him to stab her mother while she hid in the bathroom. Gypsy has expressed regret for her choices, but she explains that due to being raised excessively sheltered and abused, it seemed like the only option. Gypsy claims that she often wonders what her situation would be like if she had known to go to her extended family or talk to the police, putting her mother instead of herself behind bars. She notes, “She was a sick woman and unfortunately I wasn’t educated enough to see that. She deserved to be where I am, sitting in prison doing time for criminal behavior.” 

Now freed from prison at 32, Gypsy is in a different place. Her trial attorney, Stanfield, commented that Gypsy looks “exceedingly better” after her sentence, a rare case that further reveals the extent of her abusive upbringing. In prison, she married Louisiana teacher Ryan Anderson, and she notes that she will be happy when she is at home with him, her family, and all her loved ones. As a significant lesson from her traumatic experiences, Gypsy states, “I want to make sure that people in abusive relationships do not resort to murder. It may seem like every avenue is closed off but there is always another way. Do anything, but don’t take this course of action.” 

Works Cited

“Gypsy Rose Blanchard Released from Prison Early after Serving Time for the Murder of Her 

Abusive Mother.” NBCNews.Com, NBCUniversal News Group, 28 Dec. 2023, Accessed 30 Dec. 2023.

Hollingsworth, Heather. “Gypsy Rose Blanchard out of Prison Years after Persuading Boyfriend 

to Kill Her Abusive Mother.” AP News, 29 Dec. 2023, Accessed 30 Dec. 2023.

Rubenstein, Janine, and Alexis Jones. “Gypsy Rose Blanchard Released from 10-Year Prison 

Sentence Early After Mother’s Murder: ‘I’m Ready’ (Exclusive).” Peoplemag, PEOPLE, 28 Dec. 2023, Accessed 29 Dec. 2023.