• U.S.
  • Crime

Gypsy Rose Blanchard Is Set to Be Released From Prison. Revisit the High-Profile Case

4 minute read

Gypsy Rose Blanchard pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of her mother, Clauddine 'Dee Dee' Blanchard, in July 2016. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison, while her ex-boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn, was convicted of first degree murder for carrying out the slaying, and received a life sentence. Now, after serving 85% of her sentence according to Missouri state law, Gypsy Rose is set to be released from prison on Dec. 28.

Gypsy Rose was the victim of Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Her mother Dee Dee had a mental health condition called Factitious disorder imposed on another, also known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy, which is when a caregiver repeatedly seeks medical attention for the false, exaggerated, or inflicted illness of another person.

The murder of Dee Dee, and her treatment of her daughter, captured interest around the world. The story inspired multiple documentaries, films, and a Hulu miniseries titled The Act, which saw Joey King portray Gypsy Rose and Patricia Arquette play Dee Dee. Gypsy Rose has done multiple interviews from prison. In one, she expressed dissatisfaction over the Hulu series about her life. Elsewhere, in an interview filmed for Dr. Phil in 2017, she said: “I firmly believe that no matter what, murder is not OK, but at the same time I don’t believe I deserve as many years as I got.”

Gypsy Rose married Ryan Scott Anderson in June 2022. She is yet to reveal how they met. However, she has had multiple pen pals throughout her time in prison. Gypsy Rose already has plans for after she leaves prison. Penguin Random House is set to release an ebook on Jan. 9, 2024, titled Released: Conversations on the Eve of Freedom. The publishing house has said that Gypsy Rose can "finally" share her truth "with this exclusive collection of interview transcripts and journal entries, plus her own illustrations and photos."

Let’s revisit the high-profile case.

What happened to Gypsy Rose Blanchard?

Dee Dee convinced both Gypsy Rose and the public that Gypsy Rose was extremely ill. She told doctors that her daughter was suffering from cancer, epilepsy, vision impairment, hearing impairment, muscular dystrophy, quadriplegia, and more. As a result, Gypsy Rose was forced to exclusively use a wheelchair, receive meals from a feeding tube, and had her head shaved so that she looked bald.

When Gypsy Rose tried to go against her mother’s will by walking or insisting that she was not ill, her mother would punish her. In the meantime, donations the duo received out of sympathy for Gypsy Rose’s illnesses became a source of income for the family. When Gypsy Rose was believed to be seven years old, the duo received a house gifted to them by Habitat for Humanity.

Gypsy Rose’s age is widely discussed. It was a storyline in The Act because Dee Dee lied about Gypsy Rose’s age to multiple people, including Gypsy Rose herself, in order to further infantilize her. In truth, Gypsy Rose was born in 1991, but her mother falsified her birth certificate so that it said she was born in 1995.

Fast forward to 2012, when Gypsy Rose was around 21 years old, she first made contact with Nicholas Godejohn, then 23, on a Christian dating website. Over the next three years, the two would maintain contact. In June 2015, Godejohn visited Springfield, Missouri, with the intention of killing Dee Dee and running away with Gypsy Rose. Godejohn then went on to check into a motel until Gypsy Rose confirmed that Dee Dee was asleep. Then, Godejohn sneaked into her room and stabbed Dee Dee 17 times, killing her. Afterwards, Godejohn and Gypsy Rose had sex in Gypsy’s room

On June 14, Godejohn and Gypsy Rose left Springfield and took a bus to Big Bend, Wisconsin, to hide from law enforcement. Godejohn also posted disturbing content from Dee Dee’s Facebook page, which alerted her friends and neighbors and led authorities to discover the body that same day. Investigators determined that Dee Dee had been murdered a few days before her body was found.

More Must-Reads From TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com