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Champaign Central Chronicle

Champaign Central Chronicle

Gypsy-Rose Blanchard Has Taken The Internet By Storm Again

Gypsy-Rose Blanchard Has Taken The Internet By Storm Again

Trigger warning: the following article discusses difficult topics such as murder, rape, and abuse. Read with caution.

Since her release from prison, 32-year-old Gypsy-Rose Blanchard’s complex case has been brought to the public’s attention once more, with much attention among social media users especially. Many of them have mixed opinions on her case, but one thing’s for sure: she’s one of the most popular public figures of 2024. She has amassed 11 million followers on TikTok and 8 million on Instagram, and she’s reached media stardom again. But why do so many pop culture fans care about her release, with some even idolizing her? 

Gypsy-Rose was released from prison at 3:30 a.m. on December 28th, 2023, but many people were interested in her story even before her release. When the public first heard about her case, they were shocked; many didn’t know what to make of it. Some supported her, while others felt disgusted by her actions and online posts. However, since then, the Gypsy-Rose fan community has changed and has given her overwhelming support. She’s been featured in interviews, and in her new show, The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard.

Once she was released, she went to live with her husband, Ryan Scott Anderson, whom she married during her time in prison. Since then, they have appeared online together many times, with overwhelmingly positive support from most social media users, although others still condemn her for the killing of her mother, Clauddine “Dee Dee” Blanchard. Many think that she’s completely in the wrong for killing her mother, no matter the circumstances.

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But Gypsy-Rose was driven to this point by the years of abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother. Gypsy-Rose’s father left their family shortly before she was born, and she suffered from her mother, Dee Dee’s, Munchausen syndrome by proxy. This meant years of trauma, pain, and fear; she also felt suffocated by her mother’s controlling behavior. Munchausen is a condition that is still shrouded in some mystery, yet without understanding what it is, it might be difficult to appreciate what it meant in Gypsy-Rose’s life. Munchausen syndrome is a mental health condition when an individual pretends they have an illness, usually a physical sickness. Munchausen by proxy, which is what Gypsy-Rose experienced, means pretending ones dependent has an illness. The dependent can often believe that they truly have the illness that their caregiver fabricated. It has been widely speculated that Dee Dee herself could have been a victim of Munchausen by proxy from her mother, though this hasn’t been confirmed. The illness is much more common in female caregivers than in others.

Gypsy-Rose’s case is frequently brought up in discussions about Munchausen syndrome because of its severity. Dee Dee convinced Gypsy-Rose that she had a huge array of medical conditions, including (but not limited to) leukemia, muscular dystrophy, tooth decay, epilepsy, vision and hearing impairment, and asthma. The combination of these invented maladies led her to get unnecessary surgeries, have her head shaved, use a wheelchair, be fed through a Nasogastric Tube, and be bound to an oxygen tank. She was also lied to about her age repeatedly. It wasn’t consistent, but at the time when her mother died, Gypsy-Rose was 23 and thought that she was 19. Her mother had also physically abused her by hitting, threatening, and starving her, and once, after Gypsy-Rose tried running away from home, her mother chained her to a bed for two weeks.

To escape her oppressive home environment, she’d turned to her computer to communicate with strangers without her mom knowing, particularly older men. Then, in 2012, she met 23-year-old Nicholas Godejohn, and the two started talking regularly on Facebook.

Their relationship became romantic, even though Godejohn believed Gypsy-Rose was a minor. Gypsy-Rose was happy to have someone to confide in and the two met in person for the first time at a movie theater in 2015. The second time they met up was on June 10, 2015, and that time the objective was to kill Dee Dee Blanchard. Gypsy-Rose felt that the conditions at home were unbearable, and in a Facebook message, she asked Godejohn to kill her mother. They had discussed doing it for a long time, but there was no set date on these plans until now. 

Godejohn accepted, and has said that he “would’ve done it again” (Godejohn, for Killer Couples). To carry out their plan, he drove down from Wisconsin to the family’s house in Mississippi, and Godejohn killed Dee Dee in her bedroom while Gypsy-Rose waited in the bathroom outside. Right afterward, he wanted to have intercourse with Gypsy-Rose, and she also had to convince him not to rape her mother after killing her. They fled to Wisconsin, and Dee Dee’s body was discovered 4 days later. Police soon found out she was murdered, and Gypsy-Rose pleaded guilty to murder on July 5th, 2016, and she was then sentenced. Her initial sentence was set for 10 years, but she is currently out on parole with a condition that she doesn’t contact Godejohn again. Godejohn’s trial was in 2018, and he is currently serving a life sentence. 

So what does this all mean? Well, Gypsy-Rose’s story is one of the most complicated, tragic, and convoluted stories of true crime, but that’s what makes it so intriguing. Given all the elements that make up this story, it is not surprising that people are fascinated with the criminal and personal elements of Gypsy-Rose’s life. Much of her fans likely identify and sympathize with the abuse she lived with, and side with her in the situation. Many also support her because of the positive lifestyle changes she’s made. The jury’s still out (no pun intended) on whether Gypsy-Rose will stay in the media’s spotlight, but she still has to wrestle and come to terms with, the demons of her past. But, as Gypsy-Rose has said, she is “living [her] best life” (Amanda Hirsch, TikTok) and with the support of her fans and husband, she seems to be doing quite well as a free woman. 

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