News in 5: Abuse victim who wanted mum dead; Best Black Friday deals; UN urges calm over Manus.

1. Two days before her mother’s murder, Gypsy Rose begged her to stop the abuse. 

Gypsy Rose Blanchard. Image via Dr Phil.

Gypsy Rose Blanchard is serving 10 years in prison for her role in the murder of her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, in June 2015.

In an exclusive interview with Dr Phil, Gypsy Rose has spoken about what led to that night her mother was stabbed to death.

Dee Dee was a single mother and full-time carer for Gypsy, who was in a wheelchair and suffered various ailments including "chromosomal defects, muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, severe asthma, sleep apnoea, eye problems."

The pair were inseparable, with one friend describing their bond as "perfect".

From Chillicother Correctional Centre in Missouri, Gypsy Rose tells Dr Phil McGraw, "My mother told doctors that I was mentally incompetent ... [she’d say] ‘she’s got the mind of a child'." It was understood that Gypsy Rose has the mental capacity of a seven-year-old, due to complications related to her premature birth.

Dr Phil McGraw and Gypsy Rose Blanchard. Image via Dr Phil.

But Gypsy Rose was not mentally incompetent. And, in fact, she did not belong in a wheelchair. This was a case of Munchhausen syndrome by proxy, whereby Dee Dee desperately wanted a sick and disabled child.

"She told me if I was to contact anybody and tell them, she would take a hammer to my fingers," she says.

"She had taken handcuffs and a dog leash and tied it together and tied me to the bed. I just don’t understand how somebody could do this to their child.

"I trusted her so much she told me she loved me and she was trying to protect me... the only person I needed protection from was her.”

Gypsy Rose endured 23 years of abuse at the hands of her mother, and on the night of June 12th, 2015, orchestrated a plan with her boyfriend Nicholas Godejohn, to take her life. Godejohn climbed into Dee Dee's home, accompanied by Gypsy Rose who covered her ears in the bathroom. Godejohn stabbed Dee Dee several times in her sleep.

Two days before the murder, Gypsy Rose and Dee Dee Blanchard had an argument about her feeding tube.

"I said 'I no longer need this feeding tube can we please have it removed'," Gypsy Rose tells Dr Phil.

"And she said no. I had an upcoming surgery, and I didn’t want to have it so I said ‘please, tell the doctor I don’t need this surgery I’ve had it 20 times before I don’t have to have it again."

Now serving a 10 year sentence, Gypsy Rose revisits the night of the killing with Dr Phil, recounting, "I heard her scream for me a couple of times. But at first she sounded like she was startled... who’s there... and then I heard her screaming."

Gypsy Rose says she felt compelled to stop it and intervene, but had been warned that if she did, Godejohn would turn on her.

This is the first known case of someone subjected to Manchausen syndrome by proxy, taking part in the murder of their abuser.

Dr Phil asks if she is glad her mother is dead, to which Gypsy Rose replies, "no". But she does concede she is "glad to be out of the situation."


2. Listen up, shoppers: Black Friday is back and we've rounded up the best deals.

online shopping

Friday November 24th marks Black Friday, a global shopping frenzy inspired by the US tradition of shopping following Thanksgiving. It also marks the first day of the Christmas shopping season.

But none of that matters.

What matters is where the best deals are. money expert Bessie Hassan  "December is notoriously the most expensive time of year, so these sales are a great opportunity to save on Christmas shopping."

And that is all the permission we need.

Here are our 10 top picks:

The Iconic: Up to 61.6 per cent off shoes and accessories.

Sephora: Up to 30 per cent off.

The Body Shop: Up to 50 per cent off selected items.

Lorna Jane: Up to 40 per cent off in-store and online.

Chemist Warehouse: Up to 80 per cent off fragrances.

Priceline: 50 per cent off cosmetics, free shipping over $100. (You can read all about it, right here.)

Cotton On/Typo: 30 to 50 per cent off.

Myer: Up to 50 per cent off clothing, beauty and accessories.


Book Depository: Up to 61 per cent off.

Expedia: Up to 50 per cent off selected hotels.

3. The notorious killer of British toddler James Bulger is "back in jail over child abuse images".

The killer of British toddler James Bulger has reportedly been returned to prison for a second time after he was caught with child abuse images again.

Jon Venables, who along with Robert Thompson tortured and killed toddler James Bulger in 1993, was arrested at his home last week, according to The Sun newspaper.

Officials are said to have found indecent material on a computer during a routine check.

The reported arrest follows an incident in 2010 when Venables was sent back to prison for downloading and distributing child pornography.

Now 35, Venables is subject to life-long licence conditions for his role in the murder of two-year-old James when he and Thompson were just 10.

A source close to the investigation told The Sun: "It's all about protecting the public.

"We have these systems so those who could be a risk to the public are picked up. That's what happened here."

As reports emerged, Bulger's mother Denise Fergus tweeted: "Here we go again."

After serving eight-year sentences for Bulger's murder, Venables and Thompson were granted life-long anonymity that saw them released under new identities in 2001.

Venables went on to offend again, including arrests for affray and possession of cocaine in 2008.

In 2010, he was jailed for two years after pleading guilty to downloading images of child abuse.

Venables, who was reportedly given a second new identity after his first alias was revealed, was granted parole in 2013.

4. United Nations urges Australia to take responsibility for safety of Manus Island refugees.

The United Nations has called for calm after a group of asylum seekers were detained by PNG police and dozens more removed from the decommissioned Manus Island detention centre, AAP reports.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton confirmed Iranian refugee and journalist Behrouz Boochani was among a "small number" arrested by officers who entered the complex on Thursday.

Mr Boochani, who was later released, claimed former detainees were "under attack" from police and immigration officials who were upturning the men's rooms, confiscating phones and demanding they leave immediately.

"UNHCR reminds Australia of its obligation to take full responsibility and provide effective protection, safety and lasting solutions for all refugees and asylum-seekers in cooperation with the Papua New Guinean authorities", said UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Volker Turk.


"We urge both governments to engage in constructive dialogue, to de-escalate the tensions and work on urgent lasting solutions to their plight."

The refugees and asylum seekers have occupied the centre for the three weeks since its closure and refuse to move to alternative accommodation the Australian government says is equipped with medical supplies, food and power.

"We would expect the number which, up until this morning had been about 370 people within that centre, would drop well below that now," Mr Dutton told Sky News on Thursday.

The government didn't want people living in the centre, he said.

The refugees and asylum seekers have refused to leave, citing safety fears at the alternative accommodation 20km away at Lorengau which they say is unfinished.

5. Coffee lovers rejoice: Your daily latte could be helping your heart health.

Medical scholars who analysed more than 200 studies say moderate coffee drinking is not harmful to people's health and could help to prevent heart disease and other chronic illnesses.

"Coffee consumption seems generally safe within usual levels of intake ... and more likely to benefit health than harm [it]," the scholars wrote in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Analysis of the 200 studies linked daily consumption of three or four cups of coffee with the largest risk reduction for several diseases, said the scholars, led by Robin Poole, a medical researcher at the University of Southampton.

The team found that drinking three cups of coffee a day was "associated with the greatest benefit in terms of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke, when compared with not drinking coffee", AAP reports.

Three cups of coffee per day was associated with mortality risks that were 19 per cent lower for cardiovascular disease, 16 per cent lower for coronary heart disease and 30 per cent lower for stroke, they said in the BMJ.

But co-author Paul Roderick, also from the University of Southampton, cautioned that it was still too early to say if coffee consumption had led directly to the reduced risks.

"Factors such as age, whether people smoked or not and how much exercise they took could all have had an effect," Roderick told the BBC.

The study also supported research suggesting that pregnant women should avoid coffee.


6. Four in 10 Australian teens with food allergies are suffering frequent reactions.

woman dies from peanut allergy
Image: Getty

Research shows four out of 10 Australian teenagers with food allergies are experiencing frequent allergic reactions, including potentially deadly anaphylaxis.

A Murdoch Children's Research Institute study found those with nut allergies were at greatest risk of severe reactions, AAP reports.

Having more than two food allergies doubled the risk of a food allergic reaction compared to those with a single food allergy.

"This study highlights the alarming frequency of adverse food reactions among adolescents and the need for specific management and education strategies aimed at allergen avoidance in this high risk age group," allergist Professor Katie Allen said.

The MCRI's SchoolNuts study involved 10,000 students aged 10 - 14. The findings found of the 547 with a food allergy, half had experienced an allergic reaction in the past year.

Almost 10 per cent reported potentially life threatening anaphylactic reactions, with most "surprisingly" occurring in the home.

"This is in contrast to the assumption that schools and restaurants pose higher risk for accidental allergen exposure and may reflect the compulsory training around food allergy that has been in place in the Victorian educational sector since 2008," said lead author Vicki McWilliam.

The study is published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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