Unspeakable Times
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A Complete Timeline Of The Dee Dee Blanchard Case

Updated March 29, 2021 202.4k views18 items

Gypsy Rose Blanchard was born in 1991 to Dee Dee and Rod Blanchard. Gypsy allegedly suffered from a number of afflictions growing up, including leukemia and muscular dystrophy. She behaved much younger than her age and talked in a high, sing-song voice, charming all who met her. Gypsy's story garnered sympathy from local media outlets, and the Blanchards earned free trips to Disney World and benefited from services for people with disabilities. But everything about Gypsy's life was a lie.

Dee Dee, whose given name was Claudine, pretended Gypsy was ill when, in fact, she was perfectly healthy. Though Gypsy realized she wasn't as sick as her mother claimed, she wasn't aware of the full extent of Dee Dee's falsehoods. Likely the subject of Munchausen by proxy, Gypsy endured invasive surgeries and swallowed heavy medicinal cocktails that she didn't need.

Gypsy longed for a life outside of her mother's control, as she was constantly under surveillance and allowed few personal freedoms. When she began an online relationship with 24-year-old Nicholas Godejohn, Gypsy told him she was miserable and desperately wanted to escape the controlled life Dee Dee had crafted for her. Together, the pair hatched a plan to end Dee Dee and run away together. Authorities caught the couple shortly after the slaying, and Gypsy confessed to the truth about her supposed illnesses.

Her story fascinated the public, inspiring a 2017 HBO documentary entitled Mommy Dead and Dearest, as well as the Hulu original show The Act. The case has concluded - the court sentenced Gypsy to 10 years in prison and Godejohn to life - but the details of the Gypsy and Dee Dee Blanchard timeline continue to captivate.

Photo:
  • Photo: Courtesy of HBO Documentary Films

    August 2005: Dee Dee And Gypsy Arrive At A Special-Needs Shelter Following Hurricane Katrina

    Following Hurricane Katrina, Dee Dee took Gypsy to a special-needs shelter in Covington, LA. Dee Dee presented photos of their doomed apartment and claimed that flooding had ruined all of Gypsy's medical records. Shelter doctor Janet Jordan cried when she saw Gypsy, to which the young girl responded, "It's okay, you're only human."

    Dr. Jordan suggested the pair move to Missouri, where they caught the media's attention when Habitat for Humanity built them a wheelchair ramp in front of their new Springfield home. The pair also accepted free trips to Disney World, a specialized car for wheelchairs, and gifts from the Make-A-Wish foundation.

    Gypsy told a local Ozarks news outlet, "Love is stronger than any hurricane."

  • 2007: Pediatric Neurologist Bernardo Flasterstein Notes The Possibility Of Munchausen By Proxy

    Only one doctor noted at the time that Gypsy was perhaps the target of Munchausen by proxy. Pediatric neurologist Bernardo Flasterstein noticed that, though Dee Dee insisted Gypsy had muscular dystrophy, the girl's weaknesses weren't characteristic of the disease.

    He noted, "There is a strong possibility of Munchausen by proxy, with maybe some underlying unknown etiology to explain for her symptoms."

    Other doctors didn't catch Dee Dee's lies, or at least failed to note their suspicions. Most physicians were utterly enamored with the mother-daughter duo. Sleep doctor Robert Beckerman described Gypsy and Dee Dee as his "favorite mother-daughter patient" and featured Gypsy's treatment in a hospital newsletter.

  • Photo: Courtesy of HBO Documentary Films

    2009: The Springfield Police Department Receives An Anonymous Call Expressing Doubts Regarding Gypsy's Health Issues

    In 2009, an anonymous caller reported that Gypsy may not be as sick as her mother claimed. When a police officer visited the Blanchard home to investigate the claim, Dee Dee said there were inconsistencies in Gypsy's records because the pair were trying to evade Dee Dee's ex-husband, whom she claimed to fear.

    The officer was able to discern from a social security card that Gypsy was 18 years old, rather than 14 as her mother insisted. In his report, the investigator wrote that Gypsy "does suffer from some type of mental handicap."

  • Photo: Courtesy of HBO Documentary Films

    2010: Gypsy Finds Her Medicaid Card And Realizes She's Older Than She Thought

    When Gypsy discovered her Medicaid card, she began to suspect her mother was lying to her about her own age. Dee Dee told Gypsy she was born in 1995. However, according to her Medicaid card, Gypsy learned her birth year was actually 1991.

    Gypsy was 19 at the time, though she believed she was 15.