Imagine being restricted to a wheelchair for the first twenty years of your life? Sounds pretty daunting right? But imagine if that restriction was completely unnecessary and a result of one mother’s Munchausen by proxy syndrome. The condition is the result of a mental disorder where a person acts as if the individual in their care has a physical or mental illness when that person is actually not sick at all. While most of us try to avoid being sick or disabled at all costs, there are some who thrive in the presence of it.
Twenty-three-year-old Gypsy Rose is not only alive to tell about her experience with a mother who suffered from the psychological disorder but she is about to have a documentary aired that showcases the twenty years that she lived confined to a wheelchair. The documentary will be titled “Mommy Dead and Dearest,” and will include all of the shocking details leading up to the point when Gypsy, along with her boyfriend stabbed her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, in their Missouri home.
For years, neighbors friends and even the Gypsy’s father were under the impression that Gypsy suffered from muscular dystrophy, leukemia, and several other ailments that were discovered to be fake.
When Dee Dee’s body was discovered neighbors and friends were shocked, as they had assumed her to be a selfless mother who devoted every waking moment to her daughter’s ailments. Little did they know that those ailments were false.
“They were inseparable. They did everything together,” said Kristy Blanchard, Rod’s wife, and Gypsy’s stepmother. “Dee Dee and I had talked about it on several occasions, that if something ever happened to her, she would hope they would both go at the same time because one couldn’t live without the other.”
The suspected bond that the two had made the police investigation that much more alarming. Police were in shock to see a Facebook post on June 14, 2015, that said: “That Bitch is Dead.” The post was traced to the mother-daughter’s joint account and investigators traced it even further, to Gypsy herself and her boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn. The two were found in Big Bend, Wisconsin and were soon charged with murder. Godejohn was charged with carrying out the murder at Gypsy’s request.
When Rod Blanchard saw his daughter stand up and walk across the courtroom during her trial he was in shock, but he recalls these illnesses starting from the time Gypsy was three months old. From there, his ex-wife, Dee Dee, was constantly reporting back that the girl had been diagnosed with different issues. Dee Dee and Gypsy continued to move further away from Rod so he could only communicate with the girl by phone or through his ex-wife.
“I really, genuinely believed that she had some issues,” Rod said. “Dee Dee was really good at convincing me that there was a problem. I never ever can fathom that she was really in the hospitals, and the doctors wouldn’t have caught on to something at some point over the years.”
As Erin Lee Carr, Director of the HBO documentary, “Mommy Dead and Dearest,” was researching the tragic story, she came across several disturbing discoveries including medical documents that would reveal the multiple surgeries and doctors visits that Gypsy underwent, all because Dee Dee gave her medications that caused the issues.
On top of all of this, Dee Dee had been accumulating financial donations for Gypsy’s care and taking her on charitable trips to Disney World.
“Mommy Dead and Dearest” will air on May 15th on HBO.