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Becky G
Becky G
April 15, 2024

The Truth Behind Gyspsy Rose Blanchard


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Gypsy Rose Blanchard was born on July 27th, 1991 to 24-year-old Clauddine “Dee Dee” Blanchard and 17-year-old Rod Blanchard. Gypsy’s parents married in 1990, but the couple divorced after Rod decided he got married for the wrong reasons. Dee Dee took her newborn to live with her family and it didn’t take long for her to claim her daughter had health issues. Dee Dee was convinced she had sleep apnea despite several overnight stays with a sleep monitor and other tests finding nothing. Dee Dee later moved in with her dad and stepmom. Relatives later revealed that she had added the weed-killing product Roundup when making her stepmom’s food, which gave her a chronic illness. Dee Dee’s parents, Emma and Claude Pitre, consistently confronted her about her treatment of Gypsy and what role she might’ve played in her stepmom’s illness. Shortly after she moved to Slidell, Louisiana, her stepmother started to get better.

Gypsy seemed to have stopped going to school as early as kindergarten. Her mother homeschooled her beyond that, supposedly because her health was so bad, but really to further isolate her. Later, Blanchard’s mother told her she had muscular dystrophy and she needed a walker. She was also in a motorcycle accident when she was around 7, which caused a knee laceration, and was told she needed a wheelchair. Dee Dee and Gypsy rented a home in Missouri when Hurricane Katrina destroyed theirs. While there, Blanchard was voted by the Oley Foundation, which advocates for feeding tube recipient’s rights, as their 2007 Child of the Year. In 2008, Habitat for Humanity built Dee Dee and Gypsy a home with a wheelchair ramp and hot tub in Springfield and the two moved in. 

Dee Dee consistently shaved Blanchard’s head to keep the appearance of someone doing chemotherapy and told her because her medication would cause her hair to fall out eventually anyway, it made sense to shave it beforehand. When going out, Dee Dee brought an oxygen tank and a feeding tube. Blanchard was also fed the liquid supplement Pediasure while being over 20. Her mother used physical abuse to keep her under control and squeezed her hand when around others to make sure she didn’t say anything incriminating and said the right thing. Gypsy recalls that she would do so when she said something that implied she wasn’t sick or was beyond her supposed mental capacity. When they would get back home, Dee Dee would hit her child with her hands or a coat hanger. She also at least once forged a copy of her daughter’s birth certificate that stated her birth year was 1995, making her still a teenager, and would claim that the original certificate was destroyed in a flood post-hurricane. Blanchard recalls seeing the one copy with her real birthday on it during a hospital visit and her mother saying it was a typo. She would also later say in an interview that for 14 years, she wasn’t aware of her true age.

Dee Dee filed paperwork with the police leading them to believe Gypsy was mentally incompetent, so if she went to them, they wouldn’t believe her. Around 2012, Gypsy began using the internet at night to avoid her mother. She then met Nicolas Godejohn, a man from Big Bend, Wisconsin on a Christian website. He had a criminal record of indecent exposure and a history of dissociative identity disorder. In 2014, Gypsy told Aleah Woodmansee, the inspiration for Lacey Hutches in The Act and who was unaware of her real age, that she and Godejohn were discussing eloping and choosing names for children. Woodmansee tried to talk her out because she thought she was too young. Gypsy maintained contact with Woodmansee, despite Dee Dee cutting social media ties. The next year, Gypsy paid for Godejohn to come to Springfield. She arranged a plan to pretend to meet him for the first time at a theater with Dee Dee, then make it look like they started a relationship from there. The two continued to talk online and devised a plan to kill Dee Dee.

Godejohn came on June 10th, 2015, and came over when Dee Dee fell asleep. Gypsy let him inside and gave him duct tape, gloves, and a knife to kill Dee Dee. Gypsy hid in the bathroom while he stabbed her 17 times in the back. The couple then stole $5,000 in savings and checked in at a motel outside Springfield while planning their next step. They were also seen on several security cameras. They sent the weapon to Godejohn’s house and then took a bus there. Several witnesses spotted the pair and said Gypsy was walking fine and unassisted. The Blanchards’ friends felt there was something wrong when they noticed multiple alarming Facebook posts from Dee Dee and Gypsy’s account. These posts would turn out to be the infamous posts Nick and Gypsy left so police would find Dee Dee’s body quicker. Friends called several times but got no answer, so they went to their house. When police got there, they couldn’t enter without a search warrant, so a neighbor climbed through the window. When he got inside, nothing was disturbed and all of Gypsy’s wheelchairs were in place. After they received a warrant, police entered and in the bedroom, they found Dee Dee Blanchard’s body. Everyone familiar with her was concerned that even if she wasn’t hurt, Gypsy would suffer without her wheelchair, medication, and oxygen tanks. 

Without updates, a GoFundMe account was created for Dee Dee’s funeral costs and possibly Gypsy’s. Woodmansee, one of the people in front of the Blanchard home, revealed what she knew about Gypsy and her secret boyfriend. She showed the printouts she saved over the years, which had his name. From there, police requested Facebook to trace the IP address of the posts, in Wisconsin. The next day, Waukesha County police raided Nicolas Godejohn’s home, where he and Gypsy surrendered and were taken into custody on murder and felony armed criminal action. People were relieved to find out Gypsy was okay but shocked to find out where she was and what she had done. After realizing how Dee Dee treated her, the general public went from feeling bad for the murder victim to feeling sorry for the victim of decades of child abuse. Prosecutor Dan Patterson said he would not seek the death penalty for Blanchard or Godejohn because the case was “extraordinary and unusual.” Gypsy’s lawyer gathered her medical records from Louisiana and secured a plea deal. She was so malnourished at this point that while in the county jail, she gained 14 pounds, opposite to what happens to most people in that situation. 

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About the Contributor
Kaeden Wise, Writer
Kaeden Wise is a sophomore in high school at Forest Grove High School. They have two cats, Olivia and Koda and two older siblings. Their goal is to be a social or health worker.

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