“She called out my name about three or four times.”
“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.”
These are the words of 26-year-old Gypsy Rose Blanchard, a woman who was subjected to invasive medical procedures for years, for illnesses she never had. Her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, had forced her to pretend to be sick since she was a child in the hopes of reaping the benefits. It’s a bizarre case of Munchausen by proxy that ended in a brutal murder.
In June of 2015, Nicholas Godejohn (a man Gypsy met on the internet, late at night after Dee Dee was asleep) stabbed Dee Dee to death at her Springfield home, while Gyspy waited in the next room.
Gypsy had asked Nicholas to kill her mother.
She is now serving a 10-year prison sentence for second degree murder.
Gypsy Blanchard recalls night mom was stabbed while she hid in the bathroom: “I wanted to go help her so bad, but I was so afraid to get up.” #ABC2020 airs Friday night at 10|9c on ABC. https://t.co/JRrjymVfjp pic.twitter.com/rnZNR0hYzfAdvertisement
— 20/20 (@ABC2020) January 4, 2018
In an interview from prison with 20/20 on Friday, Gypsy recalled, “[Nicholas and I] called it Plan B … I was getting desperate”.
“I texted him when my mother went to sleep, I let him in the door. There were gloves … plastic gloves by the door. I put them there. He came in and he was wearing a hoodie and dark clothing and a scary T-shirt on that had evil clowns on it.”
Gypsy said her friend told her to cover her ears, but she could still hear her mother screaming.
“I heard her scream once, and there was more screaming but not like the kind in a horror film,” she said.
“Just like a startled scream, and she asked who was it that was in the bedroom.”
Gypsy said she and Nicholas had sex in her bedroom after the murder.
When asked about the days after the murder, Gypsy said she hid in a hotel for a few days, and she felt a rollercoaster of emotions.
“It would come in times of happiness, little spurts of happiness, but I would have breakdowns or I’d start crying, feeling remorse, guilt, and at the same time, also missing her at the same time, worry about what, what I’d just done,” she said.
Family and friends started to suspect something was wrong when Dee Dee’s Facebook status was updated to read “That Bitch is dead!” on June 14, 2015, around 5:30pm.
Friends commented, concerned.
Minutes later, “Dee Dee” also commented: “I fucken SLASHED THAT FAT PIG AND RAPED HER SWEET INNOCENT DAUGHTER…HER SCREAM WAS SOOOO FUCKEN LOUD LOL.”
That is not Dee!!! – Friends said. Now worried.
Neighbours and friends tried to call. No answer. They congregated around the house, couldn’t see anyone inside but also realised Dee Dee’s car, which was wheelchair accessible, was still in the drive.
They called the police. Everyone worried about a devoted mother and her sick child who had a disability.
While the police waited to attain a search warrant for the house, news of the missing mother and daughter travelled through social media.
“It’s not official but my friends Dee Gyp Blancharde is missing. I might be jumping the gun, but God forbid something happened to them. PLEASE SHARE!!!!!!! Call the Greene County Sherrif. 417 864-1810.” one status read.
Dee Dee’s original status was shared more than 350 times, and attracted hundreds of comments from worried friends and family.
The search warrant arrived at 10:45pm. Police entered the house and found Dee Dee's body, with multiple stab wounds, in her bedroom. She had been dead for days. There was no sign of Gypsy.
Slowly, through information from one of Gypsy's only friends, the police learned about Gyspy's secret online profile, and the boyfriend she'd met through Facebook - Nicholas Godejohn.
They found Gypsy at Godejohn's house in Wisconsin. Godejohn surrendered. Gypsy wasn't harmed. She was, in fact, in better health than ever and could, 'miraculously', walk. Both were arrested. Both claimed responsibility for the Facebook updates. And both went to jail for their crimes.
Dee Dee had a syndrome called Munchausen by proxy. It's a mental illness where the person fakes, or even induces, symptoms of psychological or physical illness in someone else for attention and sympathy. People with the condition can have these "symptoms" themselves, which is straight Munchausen syndrome. Or they can create or cause the symptoms in others, which is Munchausen by proxy.
It's considered a mental illness and Dee Dee hid the truth between a myriad of lies. Lies that medical records were lost in the floods following Hurricane Katrina. That she lost files in one of her many moves from town to town. That she was running from her abusive ex-husband, so she couldn't retrieve old records and she had to add an 'e' to the end of her last name. Sometimes she would simply stop going to doctors if they didn't believe her. Sometimes the prescriptions were not even for Gyspy, but she would feed her the medication anyway.
Dee Dee fits the bill as a perpetrator of Munchausen by proxy. She had a background in nursing, she was educated, manipulative, moved around a lot, cleverly hid a clear medical trail. Her reports of Gyspy's sleep apnea is also a sign of Munchausen by proxy - that's often how the lies start.
Speaking to Buzzfeed in 2016, Gypsy said, “What I did was wrong. I’ll have to live with it".
“I think she would have been the perfect mum for someone that actually was sick. But I’m not sick. There’s that big, big difference.”
“She taught me to lie, and I don’t wanna lie. I want to be a good, honest person. This time [in prison] is good for me. I’ve been raised to do what my mother taught me to do. And those things aren’t very good.”