Gypsy Rose Blanchard, Abuse Victim Convicted in Mother’s Murder, Released From Prison

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Gypsy Rose Blanchard, the Missouri woman who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of her abusive mother, Claudine “Dee Dee” Blanchard, was released from prison Thursday, Dec. 28, ABC News reports.

Blanchard was approved for early release on parole back in September, having served seven years of a 10-year sentence. She reportedly left the Chillicothe Correctional Center at 3:30 a.m.

In pleading guilty to second-degree murder, Blanchard admitted that she arranged for her boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn, to kill Dee Dee in 2015 after enduring years of abuse. Godejohn was separately found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2019.

The unsettling circumstances preceding Dee Dee’s death emerged after Blanchard and Godejohn were arrested. Dee Dee appeared to have struggled with Munchhausen by proxy, a rare mental illness that leads a caregiver to purposely make a child sick for attention or sympathy.

Dee Dee led Blanchard to believe she was disabled and chronically ill, even subjecting her to unnecessary surgeries and medications; she also convinced others that Blanchard had leukemia, muscular dystrophy, asthma, and brain damage. During this time, Dee Dee was also collecting donations from charities like the Ronald McDonald House, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Habitat for Humanity.

Blanchard met Godejohn when she was 18 after striking up an online correspondence on a Christian dating website. Over a couple of years, their correspondence grew both violent and sexual, culminating in an alleged pact to kill Dee Dee.

Dee Dee was found stabbed to death in her home in June 2015, and Blanchard and Godejohn were arrested not long after. During his trial, Godejohn’s lawyers claimed Blanchard manipulated him into committing the crime and that his autism kept him from comprehending the repercussions of his actions. The arguments failed to sway the jury, and he was convicted in 2018.

  Gypsy Rose Blanchard released on parole after having boyfriend kill abusive mother

Blanchard’s case unsurprisingly drew a major amount of media scrutiny and attention, spawning everything from a 2017 HBO doc, Mommy Dead and Dearest, to a 2019 Hulu true crime mini-series, The Act, based on an extensive BuzzFeed article. The latter show starred Joey King and Patricia Arquette as Blanchard and Dee Dee, respectively, with Arquette winning an Emmy for her performance.