By Walton Golightly
Gypsy Rose Blancharde was a victim of Munchausen’s by proxy, a rare psychological disorder in which a caregiver induces sickness in a victim in order to get attention or reap financial rewards. Her mother, Dee Dee, had decided her daughter was sick at six months old. Gypsy, reckoned Dee Dee, had muscular dystrophy, brain damage, cancer, leukaemia and other ailments. She went to extreme lengths to convince others of her daughter’s sickness. She forced Gypsy to use a wheelchair, even though she could walk. The young girl was fed via a painful feeding tube, the mush she ate laced with sedatives to keep her sick.
All of this made Gypsy look like a sick child – she was malnourished, and her teeth fell out. Dee Dee convinced doctors to perform extensive and excruciating surgeries on her daughter. These included multiple operations on her eye muscles and the removal of her salivary glands. She also shaved her daughter’s head every month, telling her, “It’s going to fall out anyway.”
Dee Dee also kept Gypsy’s true age a secret from her, telling her she was only 14. In reality, she was 19. Despite all she had gone through, despite the very real infirmities she’d picked up, Gypsy knew something was wrong. She tried to run away, but Dee Dee dragged her back home. She destroyed Gypsy’s computer and phone with a hammer. “Next time, it’ll be your fingers,” she said.
In due course, Gypsy was given a new computer. In 2015, she met Nicolas Godejohn on a Christian dating website. He had his own mental problems, but even he could see something was seriously wrong with the way Gypsy was being treated.
On June 15, Nicolas entered the Blancharde home and stabbed Dee Dee to death. Then he and Gypsy ran away to Wisconsin. Here, Gypsy posted a status update on Dee Dee’s Facebook page. “That b*tch is dead!” it said. Clearly Nicolas hadn’t been acting alone.
Police found Gypsy and Nicolas after tracking down the IP address from the Facebook status update. Both were arrested and charged with murder. The prosecutor opted against the death penalty after realising the scope of the abuse Gypsy had endured. She took a plea deal and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
“Gypsy recalls and acknowledges what she did was wrong,” wrote the teen’s father, Rod, “and without hesitation admits now that 10 years in prison is better than 10 years living under her mother’s abuse.”
Even Dee Dee’s parents were sympathetic to Gypsy. “Dee Dee got what was coming to her,” said her father.
True Crime: ‘She Got What Was Coming To Her’
By Walton Golightly