true crime

Inside the sordid relationship of Gypsy Blanchard and her mother's killer Nicholas Godejohn.

Warning: This post features explicit details of sexual abuse and violence that could be triggering for some readers.

Gypsy Rose Blanchard had her boyfriend kill her own mother in 2015. 

Having endured years of medical child abuse at the hands of her mother Dee Dee, Gypsy sought the help of Nicholas Godejohn, convincing the troubled 22-year old to murder Dee Dee as revenge for the life she had been forced to live in a wheelchair.

Gypsy Rose Blanchard had been brought up believing she was terminally ill, that she had everything from leukaemia to muscular dystrophy to seizures, as well as developmental issues that meant she had the mental capacity of a seven-year-old.

Ailments her mother had completely invented.

Watch the trailer for the Hulu series The Act (not available in Australia) below. Post continues after.

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Dee Dee suffered from a severe case of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, which is now known as ‘factitious disorder imposed on another’.

But it was a boy Gypsy met online that ultimately ended the lie she’d been fed, brutally murdering her mother and landing himself in prison for life.

Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose. Image: HBO.

Nicholas Godejohn, now 29, stabbed Dee Dee to death in her sleep with a stolen knife and gloves Gypsy had taken from a local Walmart. She hid in the bathroom, while Nicholas carried out the crime.

So how did the 27-year-old once confined to a wheelchair meet the boy who would go on to murder her own mother?

As Gypsy grew increasingly skeptical of her medical history, she shifted her focus to meeting boys online behind her mother’s back, striking up a relationship with a man in another state.

Gypsy met Nick on ChristianDatingForFree.com in 2012, both feeling isolated from their peers and desperate for connection.

The two began a series of sexually-explicit exchanges involving BDSM and role-play, exchanges Gypsy would later reveal she found "scary" at times.

According to psychologists who testified at his hearing, Nick had endured a difficult upbringing and was on the autism spectrum.

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At his February sentencing, Nick said: “All I ever really wanted was with Blanchard… I’ve never known what it’s like to have a female connection.”

In a 2017 interview with Dr. Phil, Gypsy revealed that Nick "had multiple personalities that were violent and scary".

"He thought he was a 500-year-old vampire named Victor," she added.

Nick himself confessed he had an "evil side" that "enjoys killing". He was also no stranger to the wrong side of the law - having once been arrested for watching porn and masturbating at a McDonald's for nine hours.

During their online relationship, Gypsy had created her own evil alter ego to match Nick's: an evil vixen named Ruby.

They referred to each other as “daddy” and “daughter” over text, with Gypsy occasionally calling him her “master.”

She would dress up as her persona in children's clothing and take suggestive photos of herself with knives to send him.

Nick and Gypsy were each other's confidants, with Gypsy sharing details of her mother's abuse with Nick. He had urged Gypsy to report her mother to the police, but she insisted that she had already tried to do so but wasn't taken seriously.

"If she tried to go to the police,” Nick explained in a 2018 interview, “due to the way her mum was making her be portrayed to look as, she would have basically looked like a lunatic that no one would believe due to what her mum was putting in everyone else's head. She felt that it was a non-escapable path she was on and she needed someone to understand her enough to be willing to basically risk their life for her."

Gypsy had attempted to run away from home in the past, but was caught by her mother, who smashed her laptop and phone, threatening physical violence if she ever tried to flee again.

Gypsy Rose's mother pretended her daughter was sick for most of her life. Image via HBO.
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So the couple began to plan Dee Dee's murder, labelling their plot “Plan B", the final option if Gypsy couldn't find a way to break free from the lie.

This is, of course, the option they ultimately took.

Dee Dee had reaped the benefits of her daughter's fabricated disabilities, including a Habitat for Humanity-built house in Missouri, for more than 20 years.

When Gypsy snapped, Nicholas was right by her side, travelling across the country to her aid - stabbing her mother to death. The pair then stole $4000 in cash from Dee Dee's savings and ran away to an inn to have sex.

In the investigation that followed, sordid details emerged about Nick's intent to rape Dee Dee before murdering her, as well as the discovery that the sex between him and Gypsy may not have been consensual.

Not only has Gypsy recently disclosed the nature of their encounter, police photos taken four days after Gypsy was found in Nicholas' house in Wisconsin show bruises and bite marks on her body.

Both Gypsy and Nick told police he had initially considered raping Dee Dee, but Gypsy talked him out of it, offering herself up instead.

Despite the fact that many believe Gypsy was manipulated by Nicholas - a sexual predator - they were both arrested and charged with murder.

Both went to jail for their crimes: Nicholas was sentenced to life, while Gypsy is serving a 10-year sentence.

The chilling story is now the subject of an eight-episode Hulu series called The Act, staring Patricia Arquette as Dee Dee and Joey King as Gypsy Rose, based on a 2016 Buzzfeed article by Michelle Dean

Its first two episodes were released on March 20 and critics have described it as "disturbing".

An Australian release date is yet to be announced.

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