The story of Gypsy Rose and the murder of her mother Dee Dee Blanchard is a disturbing case for so many different reasons. In this article on My Crime Library we are going to take a closer look at Gypsy Rose Blanchard and the murder of her mother Dee Dee Blanchard.
Gypsy Rose Blanchard Early Years
In July 1991 Gypsy Rose Blanchard was born to parents Dee Dee Blanchard and her seventeen year old husband Rod Blanchard. Needless to say the marriage did not last and Rod Blanchard would soon fall apart.
From the time Gypsy Rose was three months old her mother Dee Dee Blanchard was convinced that her daughter suffered from health problems and was in and out of the emergency room with complaints of sleep apnea, a chromosome disorder and muscular dystrophy – all of which were unfounded.
By the time Gypsy Rose was seven years old her mother was still convinced that her daughter suffered a myriad of health problems and when Gypsy Rose was involved in a minor motorcycle accident that left her with a scraped knee her mother Dee Dee Blanchard had the child placed in a wheelchair convinced she was no longer able to walk.
It is unclear what type of schooling that Gypsy Rose has as reports believed she stopped her education in the second grade and others reporting it much earlier. Dee Dee Blanchard would homeschool her daughter as she believed she was too ill to attend formal education
Gypsy Rose Blanchard would attend a series of Special Olympics and would be granted a series of trips to Disneyland by the Make A Wish Foundation. Gypsy Rose was given backstage passes to a number of Miranda Lambert concerts where she was photographed with the country singer.
Dee Dee Blanchard and her daughter were constantly moving and Dee Dee was arrested several times for passing bad checks. However a bigger issue for Dee Dee was that doctors in several States could find nothing physically wrong with Gypsy Rose.
Gypsy Rose And Nicholas Godejohn
In 2012 Gypsy Rose Blanchard would meet Nicholas Godejohn online and the two quickly would start a relationship. Gypsy Rose would tell a neighbor about the man that she met online and the neighbor believing that Gypsy Rose was much younger than she actually was would tell her mother Dee Dee Blanchard fearing the young girl was being groomed by a sexual predator. Dee Dee Blanchard would respond by destroying Gypsy Rose phone and computer.
However Gypsy Rose would keep in contact with Nicholas Godejohn and soon the two would meet. The new lovebirds would make a plan to be together forever and the best way to do so was to murder Dee Dee Blanchard.
Gypsy Rose And The Murder Of Dee Dee Blanchard
Nicholas Godejohn would arrive in Missouri while Gypsy Rose and Dee Dee were at yet another doctor’s appointment. When Dee Dee Blanchard would fall asleep Gypsy Rose would allow him into the home arming him with a knife, gloves and duct tape.
While Gypsy Rose hid down in the basement as she did not want to hear her mother get murdered. Nicholas Godejohn would fatally stab Dee Dee Blanchard 17 times causing her death.
Allegedly Gypsy Rose and Nicholas Godejohn would have sex before stealing $4000 from Dee Dee Blanchard and headed to a motel.
Gypsy Rose Murder Investigation
Several days would pass before neighbors and friends started to become suspicious. Police would eventually come to investigate and after getting a search warrant would find the body of Dee Dee Blanchard.
The police were a bit confused at the beginning for all of Gypsy Rose wheelchairs were still present. A search began for Gypsy Rose and authorities believed they were searching for a severely handicapped child however when they finally found Gypsy Rose they found a young woman with no disabilities. Gypsy Rose and Nicholas Godejohn would be extradited back to Missouri to stand trial for the murder of Dee Dee Blanchard
Gypsy Rose Story Aftermath
Gypsy Rose would ultimately take a plea deal where she would be sentenced to ten years in prison. Nicholas Godejohn would stand trial and ultimately be sentenced to life in prison
Gypsy Rose Blanchard 2022 Information
|Offender Name||Gypsy R Blancharde|
|Date of Birth||07/27/1991|
|Height/Weight||4’11” / 100|
|Hair/Eyes||Black / Brown|
|Assigned Location||Chillicothe Correctional Center|
|Address||3151 Litton Road, Chillicothe, MO 64601|
Nicholas Godejohn 2022 Information
|Offender Name||Nicholas P Godejohn|
|Date of Birth||05/20/1989|
|Height/Weight||6’0″ / 193|
|Hair/Eyes||Brown / Hazel|
|Assigned Location||Potosi Correctional Center|
|Address||11593 State Highway O, Mineral Point, MO 63660|
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Gypsy Rose More News
In October 2005, after Hurricane Katrina destroyed multiple areas of New Orleans, Claudine “Dee Dee” Blanchard and her daughter Gypsy Rose Blanchard moved to a home in Aurora, Missouri. Dee Dee claims Gypsy’s medical records were destroyed in the flooding.
According to Blanchard, Gypsy was diagnosed with leukemia and muscular dystrophy. She was wheelchair-bound, used a feeding tube, and had an oxygen tank. This would later be discovered as untrue.
In March of 2008, Habitat for Humanity built a small house in Springfield for the Blanchards. The home was specifically designed with accessibility features like lower light switches, a large bathtub, wide doorways, and a wheelchair ramp.
During this time, news outlets, the public, friends, and neighbors were fooled by their con. An outpouring of support came from charity organizations, donations, and even celebrities. They received free flights, lodging, and trips.
The Blanchards went on charity trips to Disney World and through the Make-a-Wish Foundation met Miranda Lambert. According to Tara Sullins, a friend of Blanchard, they received a large sum of money from Lambert and Blake Shelton for medical treatment in Paris.
Dee Dee’s legal name was Clauddine Blanchard. She uses various aliases and misspellings over the years such as DeDe, Claudine, and Deno. According to Michelle Dean’s BuzzFeed article, Dee Dee Wanted Her Daughter To Be Sick, Gypsy Wanted Her Mom Murdered, by the time she reached Missouri, she went be Clauddinnea and always added an “e” to her last name.
Gypsy’s father, Rod Blanchard, met Dee Dee while in high school. He was 17 years old and she was 24 when she got pregnant. They would soon get married, but he left the marriage before Gypsy was born. He remained involved with his daughter early on. He would later remarry and continue to make monthly child support payments, sent gifts, spoke to her on the phone. But according to Michelle Dean from BuzzFeed News, Dee Dee told neighbors Rod was an abusive drug addict and alcoholic who had never come to terms with Gypsy’s health issues and never sent them any money.
Dee Dee was convinced Gypsy suffered from a wide range of health issues. They spent a lot of time with various specialists throughout Louisiana. With her insistence, she managed to get treatment for her daughter’s ailments, including prescriptions for anti-seizure medication and surgeries.
Dr. Bernardo Flasterstein, Gypsy’s neurologist, became suspicious of her muscular dystrophy diagnosis. He ordered MRIs and blood tests, which found no abnormalities. After contacting Gypsy’s doctors in New Orleans, he learned that Gypsy’s original muscle biopsy had come back negative, which undermined Dee dee’s self-reported diagnosis as well as the claim that all of Gypsy’s records had been destroyed by flooding.
He suspected the possibility of Munchausen syndrome by proxy. A condition in which a caregiver creates the appearance of health problems in another person, typically their child.
Flasterstein did not report Blanchard to social services. He said he had been told by other doctors to treat the pair with ‘golden gloves’ and doubted the authorities would believe him anyway.
According to Michelle Dean’s BuzzFeed article, in 2012, Gypsy Blanchard met Nicholas Godejohn online. He was from Big Bend, Wisconsin, and had been diagnosed with autism.
The pair met online on a Christian singles dating site. They hit it off immediately. Blanchard and Godejohn spoke of eloping, naming future children they would have together, and sexual exchanges.
In HBO’s documentary, Mommy Dead and Dearest, Blanchard revealed Godejohn was into BDSM, sexual activity involving such practices as the use of physical restraints, the granting and relinquishing of control, and the infliction of pain. Blanchard was taught how to roleplay characters each with names and personas. Using secret social media accounts, she would dress up in costumes and share photos of herself with Godejohn.
In 2013, Godejohn pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct for allegedly viewing pornography on his laptop at a McDonald’s and touching himself inappropriately.
Their relationship would be a secret for two and half years before confiding to Blanchard’s friend, Aleah Woodmansee in 2014. Woodmansee found their relationship alarming due to the sexual nature and that she believed Blanchard was still a minor. She tried to talk her out of continuing contact with Godejohn, but Blanchard appeared to be completely smitten.
Blanchard confessed she wanted to be more like girls her age and date but knew Dee Dee would have to approve first.
At Godejohn’s trial, Blanchard revealed she arranged and paid for him to meet her mother in Springfield. She hoped that Dee Dee might allow them to date if she thought they met for the first time in person. They decided to meet at a movie theater to see Cinderella. Blanchard said her mother hated him. Regardless, she was able to sneak away and lose her virginity to Godejohn in a bathroom stall.
In an interview with 20/20, Blanchard said her mother got jealous that she was giving Godejohn too much attention and ordered her to stay away from him. They fought for weeks over the event. Gypsy said her mother called her names like slut and whore.
After the failed attempt, Blanchard and Godejohn began planning Dee Dee’s murder. “It was not because I hated her. It was because I wanted to escape her,” she said.
On June 2015, the day of the murder, per ABC News, Godejohn traveled to Missouri, checked into a motel, and waited for a confirmation text from Blanchard. Once Dee Dee fell asleep, he went to their home where Blanchard gave him a knife. She hid in the bathroom with her hands over her ears while Godejohn stabbed Dee Dee to death.
In an interview with 20/20, she said, “I honestly thought he would end up not doing it. I heard her scream once, and there was more screaming but not like the kind in a horror film. Just like a startled scream, and she asked, ‘Who was it that was in the bedroom?’ And she called out to my name about three or four times, and at that point, I wanted to go help her so bad, but I was so afraid to get up. It’s like my body wouldn’t move. Then everything just went quiet.”
Blanchard and Godejohn admitted they had sex immediately after the murder, according to ABC News.
On June 14th, 2015, a pair of disturbing posts appeared on Dee Dee’s Facebook page. Many wondered if the account had been hacked, but the second message made it clear something was wrong.
Blanchard and Godejohn stayed overnight in his motel in Springfield. They left on a bus to Big Bend, Wisconsin, on June 14th.
It was that afternoon when she made Godejohn create the Facebook posts. “I couldn’t stand the thought of her just there because what happens if it would have taken months to find her, so I wanted her found so she could have a proper burial,” Blanchard told 20/20.
In Springfield, when police found Dee Dee’s body, Woodmansee told police about Blanchard’s secret online relationship with Godejohn. With help from Facebook, authorities were able to find his IP address and track him and Blanchard down in Wisconsin.
Police from Waukesha County, Wisconsin, were dispatched to Godejohn’s family home. He and Blanchard were taken into custody on charges of murder and felony armed criminal action. The pair were extradited back to Missouri and were held on a one million dollar bond.
While the charge of first-degree murder can carry the death penalty under Missouri law or life without parole, county prosecutor Dan Patterson announced he would not seek the death penalty for either Blanchard or Godejohn, calling the case, “extraordinary and unusual”.
Investigations into the crime revealed a series of texts between them that appeared to discuss and plan Dee Dee’s death. It read, “Honey, you forget I am ruthless, and my hatred of her will force her to die,” Godejohn texted Blanchard. “It’s my evil side doing it. He won’t mess up, because he enjoys killing.”
According to BuzzFeed, prosecutors also said they found social media evidence of Blanchard directly asking Godejohn to kill her mother, though these have never been made public. Documents from pretrial discovery show him telling a friend about Blanchard’s desire to murder her mother as early as May 2014.
On June 29th, Gypsy Blanchard pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action.
Mike Stanfield, Blanchard’s attorney, said he was able to uncover decades worth of abuse that Dee Dee inflicted on Blanchard as a part of an elaborate fraud scheme. For months, he traveled to Lousiana to try to recover her medical records.
After the disclosure of how Dee Dee had treated Blanchard all those years, sympathy for her as the victim of a violent murder quickly shifted to her daughter as a long-term victim of child abuse.
Blanchard revealed everything about the financial fraud scheme. She admitted she had been lying for years and that her mom made her do it. But even she didn’t know everything that happened. When Blanchard first spoke with the police she told them she was 19. Gypsy’s father, Rod Blanchard, had to clarify she was actually 23.
According to the HBO documentary, Dee Dee told her she suffered from asthma, epilepsy, hearing and vision impairments, had to be fed with by a feeding tube, was paralyzed from the waist down, and suffered from intellectual disabilities. During medical visits gypsy was told to not move her legs and to just play with the dolls she would bring with her as Dee Dee did all of the talking.
Gypsy kept the facade for years, but as she became older, she expressed feelings of wanting freedom and love.
Attorney Mike Stanfield told BuzzFeed that Gypsy was so undernourished that during the year she was in the county jail, she gained 14 pounds, in contrast to most of his clients who lose weight in that situation.
In July 2015, she accepted a plea bargain agreement of second-degree murder and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Speaking with various media outlets, Blanchard says she was able to research Munchausen syndrome by proxy and said her mother had every symptom.
She also says she feels freer in prison than she was before with her mother.
Blanchard is now serving her sentence in Missouri’s Chillicothe Correctional Center.