It was a string of alarming messages posted on her personal Facebook page that alerted the neighbors of Clauddine “Dee Dee” Blanchard and that something had gone terribly, terribly wrong with her.

What they did not know until later that day, the 14th of June, 2015, was that Dee Dee had been murdered some days before, and the identity of the person who was writing the messages: her supposedly leukemic, paraplegic, epileptic, muscular-dystrophic, hearing, vision and cognitive-impaired daughter.

In a word, she had been murdered by her daughter, who turned out to be a perfectly healthy person.

But further disturbing revelations came to light as the little city of Springfield, Missouri, heard in disbelief that her mother was perfectly aware of her daughter’s state and that she had been the cause behind the false medical problems, as her abuser.

Join us as we review ten striking facts about this convoluted story of lies, abuse, manipulation, and murder.


10 /10 Simple Beginnings

In many ways, the story that ended with Dee Dee’s murder began only as it could: she walked into a Louisiana hospital with her three-month-old daughter, explaining that she suffered from sleep apnea.

Although repeated tests and overnight stays revealed that her baby didn’t suffer from this condition, she remained convinced that Gypsy Rose, her daughter, was affected by various health problems.

She attributed it to a “chromosomal disorder,” bud didn’t say much more. This was the beginning of a long series of imaginary illnesses that Dee Dee would impose on Gypsy to express her mental health problems.

The loving and concerned mother suffered, in fact, from Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSbP), a syndrome by which a caregiver projects false diseases on a person under his or her care to gain emotional and economic support for himself or herself.


9 /10 Just The Two Of Us

This condition became the single most crucial factor in Gypsy’s life as she grew up and as she became more and more isolated from the world.

Following the classic pattern of abusers, her mother would eventually push away her father, Rod Blanchard (who had divorced Dee Dee but remained in contact with his daughter), and her whole family eventually became the only person that she interacted with daily.

She also took Gypsy out of school and ‘homeschooled’ her; in fact, barely letting her learn how to read on her own by repeatedly practicing with Harry Potter books.

Dee Dee managed to alienate her family by slowly poisoning her stepmother while she lived at her father’s house and by her subtly abusive behavior towards Gypsy.

Stratos Brilakis /

8 /10 Hurricane Katrina Walks In

But Dee Dee’s lucky day came, paradoxically, with Hurricane Katrina’s coming to Louisiana in 2005.

Not only this “destroyed,” according to her, all records of Gypsy’s birth and previous medical treatments (which allowed her to claim that Gypsy was born in 1995 instead of 1991, to claim charity for four more years), but after their little apartment got ruined, and her position as an (apparently) devoted single mother who wholeheartedly took care of her ill daughter became known to the public opinion, she was airlifted to Missouri, given a house built Habitat for Humanity and started receiving a lot of charity from her neighbors, NGOs, and the government.

Marko Aliaksandr /

7 /10 Charity Without Checks

Thus, life in Missouri had become better for Dee Dee, even if it was always becoming worse for Gypsy, whose illnesses seemed to spring up like weeds.

On the outside, however, she was a happy child who got backstage passes to meet her favorite singers, received free flights to visit her doctors and free trips to Disney World, and who, overall, had a loving mother who took care of her. Little did the world know of the hell that Gypsy was going through.


6 /10 Years Of Abuse

Her mother abused Gypsy both physically and psychologically. Physically, she would sometimes restrain her (once tying her to a bed, handcuffed, for two whole weeks), beat her with coat hangers, and, especially, retain her in the house and feed her herself.

Psychologically, the abuse ran even more profound: taking advantage of her authority position as her mother, she had convinced Gypsy that she was very ill.

She shaved her head “because your hair is going to fall anyway,” confined her to a wheelchair and had tens of surgeries performed on her, stripped her of her salivary glands, and made physicians introduce tubes in her ears and extract her teeth.

She would always hold her hand in public and squeeze it tightly if she acted less sick than she supposedly was.

5 /10 First Suspicions

But Gypsy’s doctors weren’t all fooled by her mother’s pose and her unwilling status as a well-known cancer fighter and aid recipient.

Pediatric neurologist Bernardo Flasterstein suspected that Gypsy was being abused already in 2007 when he couldn’t find any evidence for her supposed muscular dystrophy.

Dee Dee immediately shunned him off, and Flasterstein (in what seems medical malpractice) didn’t report the case to the social services.

Only in 2009, the police received an anonymous call by a person claiming that Dee Dee was lying. Officers checked the claim but reported at the time no evidence of abuse and closed the file.

4 /10 Gypsy Finds Out

But the real threat to Dee Dee’s lies came from the inside: as Gypsy was growing, she realized that her mother had repeatedly lied to her.

She knew that she didn’t need a feeding tube and that she could walk if she tried. Eventually, she found her real birth certificate in the house and realized that her mother’s lies went more profound than she had ever thought.

By the early 2010s, she had started to use the internet at night to meet other people and maybe (she must have thought) find a way out of her abuse.

Greene County Jail

3 /10 Christian Dating (And Murder Plots)

This became her motivation to meet Nicholas Godejohn, from Big Bend, Wisconsin, at a Christian dating site in 2012.

Godejohn, who claimed to suffer from Dissociative identity disorder (DID), and within himself the identity of a vampire who enjoyed extreme sexual practices.

Despite Dee Dee’s tight control (she had destroyed her daughter’s computer more than once), they kept on talking for the next three years, planning to elope together.

They went as far as arranging a casual meeting with her mother, but after she unsurprisingly disapproved of Godejohn, they began discussing other options.

2 /10 Plans A, B, And C

So the plans A, B, and C came to be. Plan A, meeting “organically” under Dee Dee’s watch, was already tried and had failed.

Plan C, for Gypsy to get pregnant with Nicholas’ child and then elope, was taking far too long because of the tight control that Dee Dee exerted upon Gypsy. So they began discussing plan B or “The Deed,” as Nicholas’ preferred to call it: murdering Dee Dee.

Eventually, at Nicholas’ trial, Gypsy would confess: “I planned this murder,” and indeed they both did, on a Christian dating site.

1 /10 The Murder

And so, they eventually settled for a hunting knife as a murder weapon (Nicholas’ had wanted a machete, and Gypsy, poison).

Gypsy locked herself in her bathroom and covered her ears not to hear her mother scream; Nicholas came and did “The Deed”: after seventeen stabs, her mother and abuser lay dead in a pool of blood.

They ran off to Wisconsin, from where Gypsy would post the messages in her mother’s Facebook that alerted the neighbors and the police.

This was the beginning of the end for the eloped couple: Gypsy serves today ten years in jail and Nicholas life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

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