Munchausen by Proxy Victim Who Murdered Her Mom Describes Fear That Kept Her from Revealing Abuse
Gypsy Rose Blanchard, the Missouri woman who murdered her mother after being forced to portray herself as terminally ill for nearly her entire life, is speaking out from behind bars about one of the enduring mysteries in her case: What went through her mind during her years of silence as she was abused?
“I couldn’t just jump out of the wheelchair because I was afraid and I didn’t know what my mother would do. I didn’t have anyone to trust,” Gypsy says in an exclusive clip from Investigation Discovery’s documentary Gypsy’s Revenge, airing on Nov. 6.
Gypsy is serving 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the June 2015 stabbing death of her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard.
In her interview with Investigation Discovery, Gypsy says that as part of her mom’s abuse, Dee Dee would keep her isolated from friends and family.
Experts have said that Gypsy was the victim of Munchausen by proxy, a rare form of abuse in which a guardian — in this case Gypsy’s mother — exaggerates or induces illness in a child for attention and sympathy.
Dee Dee began to abuse Gypsy soon after she was born up until Dee Dee’s 2015 death, when Gypsy was 23.
Before her murder, Dee Dee had convinced her friends, family and community that her daughter was a terminally ill teenager with the mind of a 7-year-old who suffered from muscular dystrophy, leukemia and other ailments.
Authorities only learned the truth after Dee Dee was found dead in her home in Springfield, Missouri, where she relocated with Gypsy from Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.
To keep Gypsy under her control, Dee Dee would monitor her computer usage, never leave her alone in a room with others and even shared a Facebook profile with her.
When Gypsy would ask to see her neighbor and best friend, Aleah Woodmansee, Dee Dee would get upset.
“I couldn’t trust Aleah because my mother was starting to put things in my head that Aleah wasn’t my true friend and that she was a bad influence on me so I couldn’t be friends with her anymore,” Gypsy says in Gypsy’s Revenge.
Dee Dee began to isolate Gypsy so much that, for years, she had minimal contact with her father, Rod Blanchard, and grew wary of his support.
“I didn’t reach out to my dad because I grew up with my mom saying all these horrible things about him,” Gypsy says.
Speaking with Investigation Discovery, Rod says he was unaware of the abuse Gypsy suffered.
“If I had any indication that she needed any kind of help, I would have been over there in a heartbeat,” he says.
A day later after Dee Dee’s body was found, Gypsy was located with her 26-year-old boyfriend — whom she had secretly met online — more than 500 hundred miles away.
Godejohn has since pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and is awaiting trial. He is accused of stabbing Dee Dee and has argued he did so in order to save Gypsy from a life of abuse. His trial is set for December.
Though she is in prison, where she will remain for years, Gypsy says she is free from her mother and has been able to rebuild her friendship with Aleah and her relationship with her dad.
In 2017, Rod told PEOPLE that he and his family are already planning for her release: “She’ll always have a home here … We’ll put her on the right path.”
Looking back, Gypsy says she wished she had spoken out sooner. Telling Investigation Discovery, “If I had known then what I know now, I would have reached out to anybody for help.”
Gypsy’s Revenge premieres Nov. 6 (9 p.m. ET) on Investigation Discovery.