On the night of June 14, 2015, deputy sheriffs in Greene County, Missouri found the body of Dee Dee Blanchard inside her home outside Springfield. The 48-year-old was found face down on her bed, lying in a pool of blood from apparent multiple-day-old stab wounds. Dee Dee’s supposedly handicapped daughter, Gypsy Rose Blanchard, was nowhere to be found.
Neighbors and friends quickly feared that Gypsy Rose had been abducted. When it was discovered that her wheelchair and medications were still at the home, concern mounted. But all was not what it seemed. Police located Gypsy and her online boyfriend Nicholas Godejohn in a Wisconsin motel one day later. The two had struck up an online relationship and their correspondence became increasingly sexual and violent, culminating in a pact to kill Dee Dee, who disapproved of their relationship.
For years, Dee Dee Blanchard, who reportedly had Munchausen by proxy, had told people that Gypsy had leukemia, asthma, muscular dystrophy and the mental capacity of a 7-year-old due to brain damage she suffered as a result of her premature birth. Dee Dee also lied about Gypsy’s true age, telling people she was much younger than she was. Dee Dee forced her daughter to undergo several unnecessary surgeries and take medications she did not need. Additionally, the two benefited from Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. But after some investigating, police found that doctors discovered that Gypsy did not have any of the mental or physical issues that her mother had claimed.
After the murder of Dee Dee, Godejohn and Gypsy Rose were quickly apprehended by the police. While in custody, Godejohn told, “I would have never did it if it were not for me and her.”
Eventually, Gypsy Rose pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in July 2016. She is currently serving a 10-year sentence for her crimes. However following the HBO documentary Mommy Dead and Dearest, sympathy shifted from Gypsy as murderer to victim after the truth emerged about the physical abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother.
Meanwhile, Godejohn faced more severe charges as he initiated the murder plot, according to online conversations between the two. Godejohn had a brief four-day trial in November 2018. During his trial, Godejohn’s lawyers argued that Gypsy manipulated him into murdering her mother and that his autism prevented him from realizing the consequences of his actions. Jurors did not believe the argument. After two hours of deliberation, Godejohn was found guilty of first degree murder and armed criminal action in November 2018.
On Feb. 25, 2019, Godejohn was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for his role in the Dee Dee’s 2015 murder. He also received a sentence of 25 years on the armed criminal action conviction.
Public interest in the 2015 case flared up after HBO’s 2017 documentary. In spring 2019, Hulu will release the true crime series The Act based on the events.