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The Gypsy Rose Phenomenon


If you’ve been on social media in the past month, you’ve probably heard the name Gypsy Rose Blanchard. Gypsy Rose’s case is heartbreaking, and as her new ebook and documentary series gets released this January, many people want to know about her and her story.

Growing up, Gypsy Rose lived with her mom Clauddine (Dee Dee) Blanchard. On the outside, Dee Dee seemed to be a loving mom to Gypsy Rose. In reality, though, Gypsy Rose was a victim of Munchausen by proxy syndrome at the hands of her mother. Munchausen by proxy syndrome is when a caretaker (in this case, Dee Dee) diagnoses fake illnesses on their child. Dee Dee claimed that Gypsy Rose had many illnesses, even forcing her to use a wheelchair despite knowing that Gypsy Rose could walk without one. Dee Dee got away with this for a long time, gaining attention and money in the process. 

However, Dee Dee’s abuse became too much on Gypsy Rose. Gypsy Rose just wanted to live a normal life, but with Dee Dee constantly lying about Gypsy Rose’s birth year and her illnesses, she was forced to live with her mom even into adulthood. Gypsy Rose didn’t have any control over her own life while living with Dee Dee. For instance, Gypsy Rose was not allowed to drink or eat food normally because of the fake illnesses that her mom said she had. She had to be fed through a feeding tube, despite not really needing one. Dee Dee also told Gypsy Rose that she was allergic to sugar, and she was not allowed to have soda, candy, or other foods with sugar.

After years of abuse, Gypsy Rose decided that she needed freedom. She had her online boyfriend at the time, Nicholas Godejohn, come to her house to rid her of her mother. They made a plan to murder her.

They were eventually caught, and Gypsy Rose was sentenced to 10 years in prison. She was released on parole on December 28, 2023 after serving 8 years. Her ex-boyfriend, Godejohn, was sentenced to life in prison. 

The case of Gypsy Rose has become one of interest again due to the biographical movie, “Mommy Dead and Dearest,” released on the streaming site Hulu.  Lake Shore students were asked their thoughts of Gypsy Rose’s case and experiences. Senior Sydney Seabrooks stated, “I think it is pretty interesting that she even got out of prison. I think it’s nice that she has her family with her husband and she gets to start her life that she always wanted now, but I also think it’s kind of creepy at the same time with the whole case and everything.”

Sophomore Ashley Geib was asked the same question about Gypsy Rose case and she stated, “I think that she had a reason to do what she did and I am really glad that she is free now because she deserves to be free and gets to live the life she always wanted to.”

Finally, Senior Lucy George shared her thoughts on the case and said, “I think that it’s a really interesting case. I think that Gypsy Rose thought that the only way out of her mother’s abuse would be to kill her because of her lack of education and exposure to the real world. She probably wanted her boyfriend to kill the mother because she was desperate and couldn’t do it herself. They’re both guilty but she did her time now and he has to do his for life.”

To learn more about Gypsy Rose’s case and experiences in her own words, her ebook “Released: Conversations on the Eve of Freedom” is out now, and her documentary The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard will be released this month January 5, 2024.

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About the Contributor
Mary August
Mary August, Staff Writer
Mary August is a 17-year-old senior at Lake Shore High School. August likes to swim and hang out with friends in the summer. August goes to the Frederick V Pankow Center in the morning and works with preschool kids because she wants to be an Early Childhood Center worker.  August has plans to go to Macomb Community College and get a degree.  She has three cats that she loves very much and likes to play with them.  August listens to music all the time, and her favorite music is pop and K-pop music. 

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