The 13th Floor

Munchausen by Proxy Murder: The Terrifying Tale of Gypsy Rose & Dee Dee Blancharde

[Warning: Potentially disturbing content ahead]

Gypsy Rose Blancharde was an inspirational little girl. Bound to a wheelchair, Gypsy Rose fought leukemia, muscular dystrophy, seizures, hair loss, teeth loss, and was even displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

Through many charitable organizations including Make-A-Wish and Habitat for Humanity, Gypsy Rose Blancharde and her mother Claudinnea “Dee Dee” Blancharde were blessed with a wheelchair-accessible home in Missouri, and a lifetime of wonderful luxuries and experiences many could only dream of. For this little girl, a life that seemed destined for heartache and pain was truly blessed.

But on June 14th, 2015, Dee Dee Blancharde was found stabbed to death in her bedroom, and the disabled Gypsy was nowhere to be found. An ominous post on the Facebook account shared by both the mother and the daughter had a status update saying “That Bitch is dead!”

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Friends and family assumed the page had been hacked, or that the two were merely discussing their reactions to a movie they were watching, when suddenly a follow-up comment appeared saying: “I fucken SLASHED THAT FAT PIG AND RAPED HER SWEET INNOCENT DAUGHTER… HER SCREAM WAS SOOO FUCKEN LOUD LOL”

Friends tried desperately to reach the family, and when they couldn’t, police entered the home to find Dee Dee’s dead body, and a national search began with the hope of finding Gypsy.

A few days later, Gypsy was found completely unharmed in Wisconsin. Many people feared that the sickly and disabled Gypsy was going to have irreversible damage from missing any treatments or medication in the kidnapping. There was an even bigger problem, though… Gypsy Rose Blancharde was not paralyzed, or suffering from the numerous diseases her mother had claimed to ail her little girl.

Instead, investigators discovered a severe case of what is known as “Munchausen by Proxy” Syndrome: For almost her entire life, Gypsy’s mother had been forcing her to take seizure medication until her teeth fell out, kept her head shaved to appear as though she had lost her hair from cancer treatment, and confined her perfectly able-bodied daughter to a wheelchair.

Gypsy was dressed in very immature clothing for a girl her age, and spoke with an extremely small and child-like voice. Almost every photo available of Gypsy shows her in hospital beds, in her wheelchair, and appearing very, very ill.  Dee Dee Blancharde forced her daughter to play sick in an attempt to steal money from kind people and charity organizations.

The final snapping point was when Gypsy Rose Blancharde met Nicholas Godejohn on a Christian singles website. After years of playing sick, Gypsy had found love and wanted to live her life her way for the first time. Knowing this would bring their financial fraud crumbling down, Dee Dee forbade Gypsy from ever leaving her side, and especially would not allow the girl to continue the relationship with Godejohn.

For years, Gypsy and Nick planned on how to kill Dee Dee so that the two could be together; Gypsy created fake Facebook profiles in order to communicate with Nick. Their love must have been true, because it didn’t take much for her to convince her boyfriend to come to Missouri and murder her mother.

While Gypsy stayed in another room, Nicholas Godejohn stabbed Dee Dee Blancharde and then mailed the knife to himself in Wisconsin so he would not get caught. The two then stole $4,400 from the family safe, and took a bus out of town. Considering Gypsy had only ever been seen in a wheelchair, the two were able to escape rather easily.

Gypsy Rose Blancharde and Nicholas Godejohn are both currently behind bars for their crimes, but many hearing about the case question whether or not this murder was justified.