The Student Newspaper of Cathedral Catholic High School

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The Student Newspaper of Cathedral Catholic High School

Dons Press

The Student Newspaper of Cathedral Catholic High School

Dons Press

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From Bars to Spotlight: Gypsy Rose’s Compelling Liberation

Sofia Mah
CCHS Student, Pearl Smith, browses Gypsy Rose Blanchard’s verified Tik Tok page.

Forget New Year’s Resolutions; Gypsy Rose Blanchard kicked off 2024 with a plot twist of her own, stepping out of incarceration and into a world that awaits the unfolding chapters of her captivating story. Stepping into the limelight, Gypsy Rose emerged from the confines of prison on December, 28th 2023. Having gripped the public’s infatuation with the shocking tale of her tumultuous relationship with her mother, Gypsy Rose shares the complexities of her past and plans for the future.

Gypsy in her prison scrubs (Blanchard family)

Gypsy Rose Blanchard grew up with her mother Clauddine “Dee Dee” Blanchard in Missouri although born in Golden Meadow, Missouri. Gypsy’s health challenges were alleged at the age of three months, leading to numerous hospital stays. Despite inconclusive test results, her mother persistently pursued medical interventions for an array of severe conditions. Gypsy was subjected to the use of a wheelchair, feeding tube, and breathing machine, prompting her withdrawal from school before reaching the third grade due to the perceived severity of her health issues. Her childhood was filled with multiple surgeries including the removal of salivary glands and extractions of rotting teeth, possibly linked to medications or the absence of salivary glands. 

Experts suspect Dee Dee suffered from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, faking or causing Gypsy’s ailments for sympathy. Dee Dee, skilled at manipulating medical professionals, consistently evaded scrutiny by changing providers. Gypsy’s father, Rod, was falsely portrayed as a drug addict. Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath provided cover for the destruction of Gypsy’s records, enabling their relocation to Missouri. Despite the deceit, they received charity-sponsored perks and a special house from Habitat for Humanity. Dee Dee’s manipulative acts continued at public events, where she presented herself as a devoted mother.

In 2012, Gypsy dove into the world of online romance, sparking a sizzling connection with Nicholas Godejohn on a Christian dating site. Despite the 600-mile distance between them, their fiery chats delved into a committed romance. Unveiling her fabricated medical issues, Gypsy and Godejohn concocted a daring plan to liberate her from the clutches of her abusive mother. A rendezvous at a movie theater in Missouri went awry, propelling them into a scheme that culminated in Dee Dee’s shocking murder. The excitement escalated as concerned friends tipped off the cops, leading to an arrest. Gypsy, orchestrator of her mother’s demise, struck a deal in 2016, pleading guilty to second-degree murder with a ten-year prison stint, offering the promise of parole after just eight years. 

Gypsy employed her years behind bars as a quest for self-discovery. She earned her GED, contributed to research for a proposed scripted series about her case, and composed connections through the prison pen pal program. Despite her traumatic past, Gypsy’s stepmother revealed that she was flourishing in prison. Gypsy tells 20/20, “I feel freer in prison than with living with my mom. Because now, I’m allowed to…just live like a normal woman.” For the first time, she could finally live. 

Gypsy’s love life adds an unexpected twist – married to Ryan Scott Anderson since July 2022, their connection sparked through sympathy emails and evolved into a deep bond. Family friend, Franchesca Macelli shares in an interview with In Touch, “The emails turned into visits, which turned into a friendship, that later turned into more than a friendship.” Gypsy dated multip

Ryan Anderson and Gypsy Rose Blanchard attend “The Prison Confessions Of Gypsy Rose Blanchard” Red Carpet Event on January 5. (Jamie Mccarthy/Getty Images)

le men behind bars from the Gypsy support groups before Scott, most men just craving fame.

Gypsy, who had been sentenced to 10 years for second-degree murder, was released from the confines of Chillicothe Correctional Center in Missouri on December 28, 2023. Despite her father, stepmother, and a dedicated community advocating for a pardon from the governor, it was parole that ultimately set her free. The Missouri Department of Corrections communications director confirmed the news in September 2023, revealing that Gypsy had completed 85% of her sentence. As the first rays of morning light broke, Gypsy emerged unshackled, greeted by her husband, Ryan, marking the end of a challenging chapter in her life.

Gypsy’s first picture was posted on her Instagram page after being released.

Following her release from prison, Gypsy Rose posted her “First selfie of freedom!” on Instagram, receiving more than six million likes. The verified account, set up in August and gaining verification in October, has rapidly grown to 4.8 million followers. Expanding her social media reach, Gypsy Rose is also active on TikTok with 1.5 million followers posting get ready with me (#GRWM) video, outfit of the day (#OOTD), and vlog-style videos.  On December 31, she announced her entry into Snapchat. Across her social media bios, she identifies herself as “a public figure, public speaker, author, advocating awareness about Munchausen syndrome by proxy,” she aims to use her social media platform for positive impact, as expressed in a recent interview with People. 

Gypsy’s story has unfolded through a cascade of documentaries and series, starting with HBO’s gripping Mommy Dead and Dearest in 2017, followed by a revealing Dr. Phil episode. Good Morning America, James Patterson’s Murder is Forever, and ABC’s 20/20 delved into the case in 2018. The Act, a Hulu sensation in 2019, stirred accolades but faced criticism from Gypsy herself as it was filmed without her consent. The story echoed in Lifetime’s Love You to Death and even influenced episodes on CID and Netflix’s The Politician. Gypsy’s saga continues with a tell-all interview special and a collaboration with Macelli on the upcoming series, tentatively titled By Proxy, ensuring her remarkable journey remains an indelible mark in entertainment history.

Gypsy shares her voice in a new ebook titled “Released: Conversations on the Eve of Freedom.” Published by Penguin Random House on Jan. 9, 2024, the 200-page e-book combines personal essays, transcripts from interviews during her time at the Chillicothe Correctional Center, and a rich collection of personal photos, drawings, and memories. She aims to unravel her story through this immersive account, giving readers a unique glimpse into her experiences and her family’s background. This eagerly awaited release promises a compelling narrative that offers a rare and intimate perspective on her life. 

The surge in popularity and devoted fandom also comes with a share of criticism and skepticism. The podcast “Do We Know Them” has labeled the stan culture surrounding her as “disturbing, dystopian, and strange.” Co-host Jessi Smiles expresses concern not about Blanchard receiving support but about the peculiar energy surrounding this grim situation. TikTok creator Veronica Skaia delves into the influencer pipeline, expressing the desire for Blanchard to perform for the audience. However, Skaia predicts a potential shift in sentiment once Blanchard attains excessive fame and brand deals, anticipating demand for her to be “humbled.” Amidst the controversy, some voices advocate for Blanchard’s retreat from social media, urging her to take the time she needs to reintegrate into the world. The conflicting perspectives add layers to the unfolding narrative of Gypsy’s social media presence.

Gypsy’s release from prison marks a significant moment transcending her narrative. It underscores societal issues of manipulation, abuse, and the complexities of identity. Her emergence into the public eye, both on social media and through her ebook, amplifies conversations around resilience, adversity, and the broader implications of Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Gypsy’s journey serves as a focal point for discussions on the human spirit’s capacity to overcome challenges and redefine one’s narrative in the face of societal expectations and personal struggles.

Photo courtesy of Investigation Discovery
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About the Contributor
Sofia Mah, Staffer
Hi! I’m Sofia Mah and my passion lies in human connection, dance, creativity, and nature. Journalism is my outlet for amplifying the voices of marginalized individuals and communities, forging profound connections with people to tell their stories authentically. Through my writing and passions, I aim to create a more empathetic world where diverse voices are heard.

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