Back in 2015, Gypsy Rose Blanchard‘s name first made headlines when it seemed that she had been abducted and her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, murdered. But it didn’t take long for authorities to track Gypsy down and discover that she was not only older than they thought, but she may have actually been involved in the gruesome killing. In the years since, her story has been featured and Gypsy has been interviewed on Dr. Phil, Good Morning America, 20/20, and on several Investigation Discovery programs. It was also turned into an HBO documentary, Mommy Dead and Dearest, and now a scripted Hulu TV show, The Act. But who is Gypsy? Get the details below.
How old is Gypsy Rose Blanchard?
At the time of her mother’s death, she was believed by neighbors and friends to be a young teen. Even authorities had trouble determining her actual age, though the Springfield News-Leader reported that they believed she was between the ages of 19 and 23 when they were looking for her in 2015. For a while, Gypsy may not have known her own age. According to Buzzfeed News, when her father called to wish her a happy 18th birthday, Dee Dee told him, “she thinks she’s 14.” Now, we know that she was born on July 27, 1991, and is 26 years old.
Was Gypsy Rose Blanchard ever sick or disabled?
Dee Dee’s mom told people about her daughter’s myriad of illnesses. To Gypsy’s father, Rod Blanchard, she said that their daughter had a chromosomal defect. To others, she said that the teenager was battling cancer, had muscular dystrophy, and was paralyzed from the waist down. According to Buzzfeed, she underwent many different procedures to try and treat her various ills, including operations on her eye muscles, tubes implanted in her ears, the insertion of a feeding tube, and the removal of her salivary glands to name a few. And though she likely would’ve been otherwise healthy — and seems perfectly physically healthy now — the medications and treatments may have themselves caused additional issues.
What happened to Gypsy Rose Blanchard’s teeth?
It’s not clear what exactly caused Gypsy’s teeth to fall out, but the HBO documentary revealed that it may have been a side effect of one (or so many) unnecessary medical prescriptions. It may also have been a lack of dental care as her other “symptoms” were focused on.
Was Dee Dee Blanchard sick?
Because people can’t be diagnosed after their death, it’s hard to say for certain, but it seems that she had Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSBP). According to Michigan Medicine from the University of Michigan, MSBP “is a mental health problem in which a caregiver makes up or causes an illness or injury in a person under his or her care, such as a child, an elderly adult, or a person who has a disability. Because vulnerable people are the victims, MSBP is a form of child abuse or elder abuse.” Based on what we know about how Dee Dee fabricated Gypsy’s illnesses and diseases, that description certainly fits. And Gypsy agrees. She told Buzzfeed that she googled the diagnosis while she was in jail and her mother “matched every symptom.”
Where’s Gypsy Rose Blanchard now?
In July 2016, she made a plea deal with prosecutors and plead guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for a 10-year sentence. According to the Springfield News-Leader, she’ll be eligible for parole before her 33 birthday. Though the prosecutor believed he could prosecute a first-degree murder case, he lowered the charge because of the circumstances surrounding the killing. “When you look at this case, it’s a murder. And it’s a first-degree murder,” he said according to the News-Leader. “But it’s also one of the most extraordinary and unusual cases we have seen.”
Gypsy’s attorney agreed, stating, “Essentially Gypsy’s mother was holding her a prisoner. … Her mother would not allow her to spend any time alone with any other human being. Her mother, when they went to the doctor, did all the talking.” In the HBO documentary, the murder was compared to a hostage victim freeing herself. But Gypsy told Buzzfeed that she feels freer in prison than she did with her mom. “This time is good for me,” she said. “I’ve been raised to do what my mother taught me to do. And those things aren’t very good. … She taught me to lie, and I don’t wanna lie. I want to be a good, honest person.”
Is Gypsy Rose Blanchard still in jail?
Though she’s still serving the sentence agreed to in her plea deal, the 26-year-old did tell Dr. Phil that she thinks it’s a little harsh. “To be honest, I have complicated feelings about [it],” she said. “I believe firmly that, no matter what, murder is not okay. But at the same time, I don’t believe I deserve as many years as I got. … 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.”
Her cousin, Bobby Pitre, agreed with that when he spoke to In Touch in 2017. “There are certain things about the murder that are sick and twisted. … But at the same time, Dee Dee put Gypsy through a living hell. In my eyes, she didn’t really do a crime,” he explained. However, he did shed some light on what her time behind bars is like. “She told me she feels like she’s in college because she has friends, she’s getting an education and finally has her own space,” Bobby said. “She has freedom in there.”