gypsy rose blanchardThe Missouri woman who convinced an online boyfriend to kill her mother after he forced her to pretend for years that she was suffering from leukemia, muscular dystrophy and other serious illnesses was sentenced to death Thursday. About to get parole.
The case sparked national newspaper interest when reports emerged that Claudine "Dee Dee" Blanchard, the mother of Gypsy Blanchard, who was murdered in 2015, had essentially kept her daughter prisoner, keeping her confined to a wheelchair and Was forced to use a feeding tube.
It turned out that Gypsy Blanchard, now 32, was completely healthy, not developmentally delayed as her friends had always believed. His mother had Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a psychological disorder in which parents or caregivers seek sympathy through exaggerated or fabricated illnesses of their children, said his trial attorney Michael Stanfield.
"People were constantly telling Dee Dee what an amazing mother she was and Dee Dee was getting all this attention," she said.
Through the ploy, mother and daughter met country star Miranda Lambert and received charitable donations, a trip to Disney World and even a house near Springfield from Habitat for Humanity.
Stanfield said Gypsy Blanchard's mother was able to deceive doctors by telling them that her daughter's medical records were lost in Hurricane Katrina. If they asked too many questions, he shaved the girl's head and found a new doctor to support his story. Among the unnecessary procedures Gypsy Blanchard underwent was the removal of her salivary glands. Her mother convinced doctors that it was necessary to use a topical anesthetic to induce salivation.
Stanfield said that Gypsy Blanchard, who had little schooling or contact with anyone other than her mother, was also mistreated, especially when she was young.
“The doctors seem to confirm everything you're being told. The outside world is telling you that your mother is a wonderful, loving, caring person. What other idea might you have?” Stanfield said.
But then the abuse became more physical, Stanfield said. Gypsy testified that her mother beat her and tied her to the bed. Gradually Gypsy also began to understand that she was not as ill as her mother had said.
"I wanted to be free of his hold on me," Gypsy testified. Her ex-boyfriend's 2018 lawsuit, Nicholas Godejohn of Big Bend, Wisconsin, who is serving life sentence In murder. He added, "I talked to him about it."
When he took the stand at his trial, prosecutors had already cut him a deal because of his mistreatment. In exchange for pleading guilty in 2016 second degree murder, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The first-degree murder charge he initially faced would have meant life in prison.
"Nick loved her so much and was so obsessed with her that he would do anything," Godejohn's trial attorney, Dwayne Perry, argued in court. She said her client has autism and was molested.
However, prosecutors Argued that he was motivated by sex and a desire to be with Gypsy Blanchard, whom he met on a Christian dating website.
According to the probable cause statement, Gypsy Blanchard supplied the knife and hid in the bathroom while Godejohn repeatedly stabbed her mother. The two eventually took a bus to Wisconsin, where they were arrested. She has since been imprisoned in a state women's prison in Chillicothe.
"Things are not always what they seem," said Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott. As strange revelations began to emerge,
Even Gypsy's age was false. Her mother said that she was small, which made it easier to carry on the fraud, and that she got away with it because Gypsy was very small: only 4 feet, 11 inches (150 cm) tall.
Law enforcement was initially so confused that the original court documents listed three different ages for him, with the youngest being 19 years old. She was 23 years old.
Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson called it "one of the most extraordinary and unusual cases we have seen."
Stanfield recalled that when he first met Gypsy, he was out of breath walking the 75 yards (69 m) from the elevator to the room where he spoke to him. He described him as malnourished and physically weak.
Stanfield said, "I can honestly say that I have rarely had a client who looks much better after serving a lengthy prison sentence." “Prison is generally not a place where you can be happy and healthy. And I say that because, to me, it's kind of proof to the rest of the world of how bad the Gypsies were really going through.
Gypsy Blanchard later said that she did not realize how healthy she was until her arrest. But it took time. Eventually, while behind bars she got married to Ryan Scott Anderson, 37, of St. Charles, Louisiana.
This bizarre case was the subject of the 2017 HBO documentary "Mommy Dead and Dearest," the 2019 Hulu miniseries "The Act," and the upcoming Lifetime documentary "The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard." Daytime television psychologist "Dr. Phil" McGraw interviewed her from prison. The novel "Darling Rose Gold" draws on the story for its premise and Blanchard's own article, "Release: Conversations on the Eve of Freedom" appeared the following month. Scheduled for publication.
Amid the media storm, Corrections Department spokeswoman Karen Pojman said no personal coverage of his release would be allowed Thursday "in the interest of protecting safety, security and privacy."