The student news site of Claremont High School

The Wolfpacket

The student news site of Claremont High School

The Wolfpacket

The student news site of Claremont High School

The Wolfpacket

Gypsy Rose Blanchard, Finally Free

Curtesy+Business+Insider
Curtesy Business Insider

In 2016 Gypsy Rose Blanchard was convicted of the 2nd degree murder of her mother, with her online boyfriend, Nick Godejohn, as an accomplice. Eight years later she was released from the Chillicothe Correctional Center in Missouri. Upon Blanchard’s release the world learned that she committed her mothers murderer to escape.
What many did not know is that Blanchard’s mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, suffered from Münchausen Syndrome by Proxy or MSP. MSP is a rare physiological illness characterized by attention-seeking behavior by a caregiver through those in their care. Oftentimes the caregiver with Munchausen will fantasize about symptoms in which the person in their care is not truly experiencing. The caregiver could also alter tests and create invalid medical records. Dee Dee Blanchard applied to all the above. Ever since Blanchard could remember, she had numerous illnesses such as leukemia, muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, respiratory issues, allergy to sugar, and impaired hearing all which “forced” her to use a wheelchair and feeding tube. Blanchard was lied to, kept in the dark.
What made her “illnesses” so believable was Blanchard’s appearance. Dee Dee would shave Blanchard’s head to make it look like she had been going through leukemia treatments. Blanchard’s teeth also rotted from treatments that impacted her dental hygiene. Many people empathized with Blanchard for having to deal with so many illnesses at such a young age, because of this, Gypsy was listed as the Oley Foundation’s 2007 Child of the Year, and Habitat for Humanity built a brand new house in Springfield, Missouri just for her and her mother. Dee Dee received money sent to Blanchard by supporters, which she would pocket, sharing none with her daughter. Around this time Blanchard became suspicious of her illness. She quickly discovered she could walk and did not actually need to use a wheelchair. After this discovery the web of lies began to unravel and one thing became clear: she needed to escape.
Ironically, while behind bars, Blanchard had her first humanizing experiences. In prison, she made friends, enemies, and even lovers.
When released from prison, Blanchard was stripped of her right to vote, ineligible to join the army, restricted from owning a firearm, possesses limited international travel, and issues with professional licensing just as any other felon. People on social media have been debating whether or not Gypsy should still face these continued punishments. Many believe what Gypsy did was “justified” as an action of self-defense. CHS sophomore Alexa Mowbray, however, disagrees.
“After all, Gypsy did commit a felony,” Mowbray said. “Just because of her fame and popularity doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be treated like one”.
Now Blanchard can thrive and experience life without being under the control of her mother’s MSP. Her time in prison has shaped her into the new and improved person she is today. What Gypsy did to her own mother is unimaginable, but in a way, Gypsy had always been behind bars, and that was her only way out.

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About the Contributor
Paola Garcia is currently a Sophomore at CHS and a first year contributing reporter. Paola is extremely involved here at CHS. She is part of both the sideline and competition cheerleading teams, track team, along with being sophomore class secretary/treasurer. In her free time, Paola loves hanging out with friends, traveling, and binge watching movies. This year she looks forward to trying new things and creating new friendships.
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