The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

Gypsy Rose Blanchard Released 8 years after murder of mother

Impacts of Munchausen by Proxy

On Dec. 28, over eight years after the murder of Clauddine ‘Dee Dee’ Blanchard, her daughter Gypsy Rose Blanchard will be released back into society. Gypsy had pleaded guilty to Second-Degree Murder and received a 10-year sentence; however, she was granted parole in September after serving 85% of her sentence in jail. 

Clauddine Blanchard was born in 1967, where she had an uneventful childhood, though some said that she was prone to stealing, especially from her own family, as well as suspected to have not given the proper care to her mother resulting in her death. 

Gypsy Rose was born July of 1991, to both Clauddine who was 24 and her husband Rod Blanchard, then 17. The couple would separate leading to Gypsy being in mostly Clauddines’ care, where she would begin to obsess over her health starting from when she was a newborn. This would lead to Gypsy, and almost everyone around her, being under the influence that she was terminally ill alongside dealing with physical disabilities. This would end up not being the truth, all of which was designed by Clauddine. 

Forcing the young Blanchard to use an oxygen tank system, feeding tube, and a wheelchair, despite no need for them, Gypsy would come to find that she was indeed not ill, but being made ill and treated as such by her mother. Gypsy would go online and meet her then boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn, and the two would go on to stab Clauddine, causing her death on June 9, 2015. Godejohn is currently in prisonl for life without parole on first-degree murder. 

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Munchausen by Proxy, now better acknowledged as Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another (FDIA), is an extremely serious situation that can occur involving two people, usually a parent and a child, and is a form of child abuse. Usually, the causes of these circumstances are unknown, but can fester from someone who has Munchausen themselves, or dealt with abuse in their lifetime. It is when a caretaker creates fake symptoms within the victim to more easily control them or make it seem as if the victim is sick.  

Caretakers are known to cause real physical symptoms for the sake of making the victim sick. In the case of the Blanchard family, this form of abuse was a tactic by Clauddine to keep her daughter to her side, as well as scam people into giving her the things she wanted under the illusion that it was a good thing to do for a sick child. Gypsy also faced physical abuse from her mother alongside FDIA. FDIA can further ruin the victim’s health, and mental wellbeing, eliciting responses of anxiety, depression, and/or post-traumatic stress disorder. 

“I feel like I am freer in prison than living with my mom because now I am allowed to just live like a normal woman,” Gypsy told ABC news in an interview. 

When told that prison was not normal, Gypsy had this to say, “Not for most, but for me it is.” 

She has changed much since she has been in the outside world, and a docuseries will be published following her release from prison titled, “The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard,” during the month of Jan 2024. As of now, there have been no more comments from Gypsy as she faces the last month or so of her imprisonment. 

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Jennifer Fernandez
Jennifer Fernandez, Staff Writer

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