Gypsy Rose Blanchard smiling during everyday life in prison after playing a part in her mother's murder.
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Famous Prisoners: How Murder Freed Gypsy Rose Blanchard from Illness

After years of fake illness, Gypsy Rose Blanchard was sentenced to prison for her mother’s murder. She’s more free behind bars than in her own home.

Dee Dee Blanchard was stabbed to death in 2015. Her daughter, Gypsy Rose Blanchard, plead guilty to the crime. One would think at this point, Gypsy is facing the hardships of life in prison with a dour perspective. In all reality however, Gypsy is actually enjoying her stay in prison, saying that she feels more like a person behind bars than in her own home.

Munchausen by Proxy: The Source of Gypsy’s Fake Illness

From the public’s point of view, Gypsy’s life was spent with a lot of excitement revolving around her chronic sickness. However, in reality, Gypsy’s sickness was due to her mother Dee Dee’s controlling nature.

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Many doctor’s examining Dee Dee’s life had diagnosed her with Munchausen by proxy. This is a condition where someone invents illness in their child to receive medical attention.  This lines up with a statement made by Gypsy after she was interviewed in prison by ABC news.  She said:

“She was constantly seeking attention for herself. Because she didn’t feel loved. So let’s make this baby girl sick so it forever needs you…”

When it comes Gypsy’s fake illness, she grew up getting surgeries and treatments for different ailments, including, but not limited to, asthma, leukemia and muscular dystrophy.

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Gypsy was medicated and treated for all of these conditions she didn’t have. Despite the seemingly large risk involved, Gypsy retains a clean bill of health, much like the rest of her life. The only thing she suffers from is stunted growth as a side effect from her treatments.

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Gypsy’s Sentence for Her Mother’s Murder

In 2015, Dee Dee was found dead in her home, the cause of death determined to be stabbing. Gypsy was convicted of the crime and plead guilty to second-degree murder for playing a part in her death.

Gypsy was sentenced to prison for 10 years as a result.

In spite of her crimes, Gypsy has found support from her father and stepmother during this trying time. According to her father, they intend to stick by her side during and after her sentence. “She’ll always have a home here,” he said in an interview with People magazine, “We’ll put her on the right path…”

How Gypsy is Reacting to Her Prison Sentence

At 27-years-old, Gypsy is still serving her sentence. In 2024, she will be eligible for parole. In the meantime, she’s rather enjoying her life in prison.

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According to Gypsy, living in her home was more restrictive to her rights as a person than prison is. She says, “The prison that I was living in before, with my mom — I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t have friends…I feel like I’m freer in prison than living with my mom. I guess now I’m allowed to just live like a normal woman.”

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It definitely makes sense when you consider her stepmother’s comments on her rehabilitation. She states that Gypsy is in good health and that she’s thriving.

Why Gypsy’s Future Life Outside of Prison is Relatively Bright

In the end, Gypsy’s story can be summed up as one that is tragic, but not unsalvageable. It’s clear that her involvement in her mother’s murder isn’t condonable, but it’s also clear that it was the result of her mother’s constant abuse. A good chunk of her life was experiencing lies that created an artificial dependence on her mother that she wouldn’t have had without her fake illnesses.

Despite this however, Gypsy is experiencing something that all prison inmates should be: positive rehabilitation. Behind bars, Gypsy isn’t being punished or treated as cargo or a number. She is given a new chance at life.

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In prison, Gypsy has access to the resources (human or otherwise) necessary to help her properly re-integrate into society.  For this reason, Gypsy’s story will serve as a reminder that no matter what you’ve done or where you come from, the justice system can aid you if, and only if, rehabilitation is the primary focus.

Gypsy Rose Blanchard smiling during everyday life in prison after playing a part in her mother's murder.
The progress of Gypsy Rose Blanchard’s rehabilitation cannot be understated. Not every female in the US prison system is given effective treatment that resonates with them. Gypsy’s story however can serve to change this status quo for the better. Image Source: Distractify

Our prison system is far from perfect, but Gypsy’s story gives hope that it can improve for this woman who for the first time in her life, is finally able to truly live. Gypsy puts it best in her own words:

“I get to start over. I’m newly born.”

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Daniel Acosta
Daniel Acosta is a writer/editor with a B.A. in English. His interest in fiction came from books like The Chronicles of Narnia, The Giver and his favorite, The Outsiders. He has a strong belief in objective thinking, and writes short stories with fellow creative writers in his free time. Daniel currently writes and edits articles for Prison Rideshare Network.