What Gypsy Rose Blanchard's Life In Prison Was Like

In June 2015, Dee Dee Blanchard was found stabbed to death in her home. Authorities quickly turned their attention to finding her daughter, Gypsy Rose Blanchard, who was nowhere to be found. This though, was not an ordinary missing person case. Gypsy Rose was wheelchair-bound, had cancer, and a variety of other life-threatening illnesses that rendered her defenseless. Dee Dee had dedicated her life to being Gypsy Rose's sole caretaker and provider. Who could have possibly done this to a disabled person and their mother? To everyone's relief, Gypsy Rose was found shortly after. She was fine. In fact, she was more than okay. 

Gypsy Rose was walking — and shockingly — appeared to be healthy. It's then that she made a disturbing confession; her mother had feigned everything and she wasn't ill, not even a little bit. Even more distressing? Biography reports that Gypsy Rose had joined a dating site and met Nicholas Godejohn. She told him the truth about her mother's deception and they soon devised a sinister plan — she asked Godejohn to kill her mother for her so that the pair could be together. He agreed, and Godejohn traveled from Wisconsin to the Blanchards' home in Springfield, Missouri to commit the act. For her role in her mother's murder, the then 24-year-old received a 10-year sentence in 2016. Godejohn was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of first-degree murder. 

In prison, Gypsy Rose said she gained freedom

According to Buzzfeed, it became clear to investigators that Dee Dee Blanchard was suffering from Munchausen by proxy. In other words, she had falsified her daughter's illnesses and disabilities for "attention and sympathy." Gypsy Rose was a victim of abuse. 

Per, All That's Interesting, she and everyone else, including her father, were led to believe that Gypsy Rose had a chromosomal disorder, muscular dystrophy, and was mentally challenged. Biography wrote that it was also believed she had seizures, needed a feeding tube, and much more. Gypsy Rose's mother had essentially held her hostage for her entire life.

While she was serving her sentence at the Chillicothe Correctional Center in Missouri, Distractify reported that Gypsy Rose Blanchard was living her best life. She made friends and worked towards her GED. She famously said that 10 years in prison was better than 10 more years with her mother (via E! Online). Ironically, Gypsy Rose felt that prison gave her the freedom she had always wanted and she could live as what she called a "normal woman." 

In addition, she formed a stable relationship with her father and stepmother (per A&E). In 2022 Gypsy Rose had a prison wedding with a Louisianna teacher whom she'd formed a relationship with via letters and phone calls. Then, after being released from prison on December 28, 2023, after serving less than eight years of her sentence, she shared a photo on Instagram of a New Year's kiss with her husband Ryan Anderson. 

Gypsy Rose Blanchard thrived in prison

In a 2019 interview with A&E, Gypsy Rose Blanchard's father, Rod Blanchard, stated that his daughter was "happy" and "optimistic" in prison. He also added that she preferred not to discuss Dee Dee or her murder with him. Gypsy Rose's stepmother, Kristy, agreed with this sentiment. That same year, she told the Springfield News-Letter that Gypsy Rose was "doing really well" and that "she's just looking forward." Although E! Online reports that her life in prison was less than perfect, it has nevertheless allowed her to flourish in ways she never could while living with her mother.

A family friend, Fancy Marcelli, revealed that Gypsy Rose had recently picked up two new hobbies — photography and cosmetology. Marcelli explained that Gypsy Rose took photos of fellow inmates. Furthermore, she also had a job in prison and attended school (via the Springfield News-Leader). Another bonus? Gypsy Rose made friends for the first time in her life. Per E! Online, Marcelli noted that "there definitely is a social life for her ... which she was never afforded before."

Gypsy Rose Blanchard believed her sentence should have been less severe

People writes that in 2017, an incarcerated Gypsy Rose Blanchard was interviewed by Dr. Phil. She revealed that she's "not happy" that Dee Dee is dead. Despite this, she added that "at the same time, I don't believe I deserve as many years as I got. I believe firmly that, no matter what, murder is not okay. I do believe that I do deserve to spend some time in prison for that crime. But I also understand why it happened, and I don't believe that I'm in the right place to get the help that I need."

Per A&E, her father, Rod, agrees that his daughter's 10-year sentence was too harsh of a punishment. In an attempt to secure an early prison release for Gypsy Rose, he launched an online petition. Rod explained that ultimately, he believed that everyone, including himself and society, had "failed Gypsy."

In 2021, Gypsy Rose revealed that she was writing a book about her life to tell her story on her terms (per the Springfield News-Leader). She also said that she was working on rehabilitating herself to make her transition into society as smooth as possible for when she is released, hoping that she can one day help fellow victims of abuse. 

Hard won lessons

In January 2024 Gypsy Rose along with two writers released an E-book called "Conversations on the Eve of Freedom" which entails her long and complicated journey. Upon her release from prison after serving 85% of her original sentence for her role in her mother's murder, she told People in an exclusive interview that she regrets her actions in many ways from the killing to the lack of understanding of what avenues were available to her to reach out for help. 

First, she said, "No one will ever hear me say I'm proud of what I did or I'm glad that she's dead. I'm not proud of what I did. I regret it every single day ... She didn't deserve that. She was a sick woman and unfortunately, I wasn't educated enough to see that. She deserved to be where I [was], sitting in prison doing time for criminal behavior." 

Gypsy Rose also told People she wishes she would have confided in other family members she was not ill and her mother was making her fake it and forcing her to take unnecessary medications and have unnecessary medical procedures. She acknowledged that rather than goading her ex-boyfriend into murder, she should have thought to go to the police for help.

Gypsy Rose Blanchard, now 32, shared one last bit of realization that she came to in prison, saying, "I want to make sure that people in abusive relationships do not resort to murder. It may seem like every avenue is closed off but there is always another way. Do anything, but don't take this course of action."

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.