Claudinnea "Dee Dee" Blanchard appeared as a devoted and caring mother to her daughter, Gypsy Rose. Blanchard, originally from Louisiana, relocated to Missouri with her young daughter, who from birth allegedly suffered myriad illnesses, including chromosomal defects, muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, leukemia, and more. In 2017, HBO released the documentary Mommy Dead and Dearest, detailing the true events of Gypsy Rose's unusual story. Blanchard had misled the public, as well as Gypsy Rose, about her daughter's actual age - so at 18, wheelchair-bound Gypsy thought she was only 14. Everyone, including the girl's father, believed that Gypsy Rose had a diminished mental capacity as a result of her chronic illnesses. However, in June 2015, friends, doctors, and the Blanchard family's massive extended support system learned the truth: Blanchard had been intentionally making her daughter ill.
On June 14, 2015, Greene County Police discovered Blanchard's body after a family friend reported a suspicious Facebook post indicating that something was amiss. Through the investigation, police uncovered an extreme case of Munchausen by proxy, in which Blanchard had been committing all kinds of fraud and deliberately harming her daughter to garner sympathy and money. Blanchard's death came as a shock, as the constant caregiver to Gypsy Rose was publicly-known for their involvement with such charities as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Ronald McDonald House, and Habitat for Humanity. When the knowledge of Gypsy Rose's clandestine online boyfriend came to light, people began questioning whether the chronically-ill child was a part of the elaborate charade. Then, when the authorities traced the IP address of the post boasting Blanchard's passing to Nicholas Godejohn - Gypsy's beau - the public received another shocking blow: Gypsy Rose had orchestrated her mother's murder.
Gypsy's Co-Conspirator Was Sentenced To Life In Prison Without Parole
On February 22, 2019, Nicholas Godejohn, Gypsy's online boyfriend who helped her end her mother's life, was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Back in 2015, Godejohn confessed to the crime, saying he did it because of love. "I did actually stab her... I would have never did it if it were not for me and her [Gypsy]."
The Assailant Posted 'That B*tch Is Dead!' On Facebook
On June 14, 2015, a disturbing post went up on 48-year-old Dee Dee Blanchard's Facebook page: "That B*tch Is Dead!" Immediately, friends and family begin to post messages of alarm and concern. They were unsure if they should call the police or whom to alert. Then, another comment appeared on the status, again posted from Blanchard's Facebook account:
I f*cken SLASHED THAT FAT PIG AND RAPED HER SWEET INNOCENT DAUGHTER…HER SCREAM WAS SOOOO F*CKEN LOUD LOL.
A family friend unsuccessfully tried to reach Blanchard and contacted the police after she saw Gypsy's abandoned wheelchair at the residence. When police obtained a search warrant later that night, they made an unexpected discovery.
Dee Dee Blanchard Had Been Dead For Days
At 10:45 PM, the Greene County Police searched the Blanchard house, located just outside of Springfield. All of the sick girl's medications and mobility aids where present, but the teen was missing. When investigators searched the upstairs, they found Blanchard, who had passed several days prior from stab wounds.
While the family friend organized funerary services and initiated a charity campaign to cover the expenses, police tried to locate Gypsy Rose. Local concern grew for the safety of the missing girl everyone believed to be physically and mentally incapacitated.
Gypsy Rose Had A Secret Online Boyfriend
After police found Blanchard, Aleah Woodmansee, a 23-year-old claims investigator who was close to Gypsy, came forward and revealed that the missing teen had been having a secret online romance. Woodmansee named Gypsy's boyfriend as 25-year-old Nicholas Godejohn. Reportedly, Gypsy had also been communicating with Woodmansee through a private Facebook account under the name Emma Rose, as Blanchard didn't want her daughter on social media.
Based on Woodmansee's tip, investigators determined that Gypsy met Godejohn in a Christian singles chatroom and had been communicating with him for approximately two years. Through tracing the IP address of the posts made on Blanchard's Facebook, authorities then tracked Gypsy and Godejohn to Big Bend, Wisconsin.