Gypsy Rose Blanchard Is Released From Prison in Missouri


Gypsy Rose Blanchard, who was found guilty of helping to kill her abusive mother in a murder that inspired an HBO documentary and a Hulu miniseries, was released from prison on Thursday, the authorities in Missouri said.

Karen Pojmann, a spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Corrections, said in an email that Ms. Blanchard was released from Chillicothe Correctional Center at 3:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, was killed in June 2015 in Springfield, Mo. At the time, Ms. Blanchard, then in her early 20s, used a wheelchair and appeared to have a diminished mental capacity. Investigators soon realized that she could walk and that her medical problems had largely been fictitious.

Investigators later came to suspect Ms. Blanchard’s boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn, of stabbing her mother to death. They also found evidence suggesting that the couple had planned the murder together.

Ms. Blanchard, now 32, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 2016. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison — the minimum for second-degree murder — under a plea agreement that acknowledged the abusive relationship with her mother.

Three years later, Mr. Godejohn was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison, The Springfield News-Leader reported.

Ms. Blanchard’s trial attorney, Mike Stanfield, said at a news conference in 2016, that the sentence for Ms. Blanchard was “a testament to the amount of abuse that we uncovered that her mother was heaping upon her.”

Mr. Stanfield said that Ms. Blanchard’s attorneys had reviewed nearly 15 years of medical records and spoke to the family’s neighbors and friends and found that “essentially, Gypsy’s mother was holding her a prisoner.”

“Gypsy’s mom was abusing her physically, medically, giving her medication she didn’t need, having her go through procedures that she didn’t need, to the point where most of Gypsy’s teeth are not even hers because of the medication that her mom was giving her that she had no condition for,” Mr. Stanfield said.

Mr. Stanfield could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday.

“I’m ready for freedom,” Ms. Blanchard told People magazine in an interview published on Thursday. “I’m ready to expand and I think that goes for every facet of my life.”

In the interview, Ms. Blanchard said that her mother did not deserve to die.

“She was a sick woman and unfortunately I wasn’t educated enough to see that,” she said. “She deserved to be where I am, sitting in prison doing time for criminal behavior.”

The unusual case attracted considerable media attention and was held up in dramatizations and documentary programs as an example of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a psychological disorder in which a parent or caregiver exaggerate, induce or make up an illness in a child to get attention. Dee Dee Blanchard was not known to have been formally diagnosed with the disorder before she died.

In 2019, Hulu released an eight-part series, “The Act,” which was based on Ms. Blanchard’s life. The series was created by Michelle Dean, a journalist who wrote a widely read 8,000 word story for Buzzfeed about the case in 2016. In the series, Joey King played Ms. Blanchard, and Patricia Arquette played her mother. Ms. Arquette was awarded the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series for her performance.

An HBO documentary directed by Erin Lee Carr, “Mommy Dead and Dearest,” premiered in May 2017 and examined the murder of Dee Dee Blanchard.

In January, the television network Lifetime is releasing a six-hour show featuring interviews with Ms. Blanchard from prison, as she prepared for her release.



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