The 10 biggest bombshells from Lifetime's doc “The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard"

The harrowing six-part series details more abuse than was previously known, in addition to some bizarre details

By Joy Saha

Staff Writer

Published January 9, 2024 10:00AM (EST)

The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard (Lifetime/Courtesy of the Blanchards)
The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard (Lifetime/Courtesy of the Blanchards)

Gypsy Rose Blanchard, who became notorious following the death of her mother Clauddine "Dee Dee" Blanchard, is taking control of her own narrative now that she’s out of prison.

On Dec. 28, Gypsy was released from prison on parole after serving eight-and-a-half years of a 10-year prison sentence. In 2016, she pleaded guilty to orchestrating the murder of her mother, who was stabbed to death in June 2015 by Gypsy’s then-boyfriend Nicholas Godejohn. Dee Dee suffered from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a psychological disorder and form of child abuse in which a caregiver fabricates, exaggerates or induces serious illness in another person — typically their child — to garner attention.

For years, Gypsy was forced to pretend that she suffered from leukemia, asthma and muscular dystrophy. Her mother routinely shaved her head and forced her to use a wheelchair, feeding tube and oxygen tank, even though she didn’t require them. Gypsy was also subjected to several intrusive medical procedures and kept in captivity by her mother.

Gypsy’s heartbreaking story is explored in the Lifetime documentary “The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard.” The six-episode series, which premiered on Jan. 5, features several exclusive interviews with Gypsy, conducted over the span of 18 months both in person and over the phone. Gypsy’s health providers, closest acquaintances and immediate family members also make several appearances.

Here are 10 of the biggest bombshells from the series:

Dee Dee lied about her age when she first met Gypsy’s father 
Gypsy Rose BlanchardGypsy Rose Blanchard is seen in midtown on January 05, 2024 in New York City. (Raymond Hall/GC Images/Getty Images)

Rod Blanchard, Gypsy's father, said he and Dee Dee were dating only three months when Dee Dee told him that she was pregnant. Rod was 17 and still in high school at the time. Dee Dee, he recalled, told him she was 21 when she was actually 23.


“I felt it was important to get married, but I woke up three months later on my 18th birthday, and it just kind of hit me like, ‘You’re married to a woman you’re not in love with,’” Rod said. “So Dee Dee, I’m sorry. I tried to be there as a father but as a husband, I said, ‘I don’t feel that.’ She grabbed our marriage license, it was in a frame, and threw it on the ground.”


Gypsy said she believes her mother’s “most devastating failure” was her divorce from Rod. Dee Dee blamed Gypsy for their divorce because she “wasn’t the son that [Rod] wanted.”


“I’m like thinking in my mind, ‘How are you blaming me for something that happened before I was born?’” Gypsy said.

Gypsy accused her grandfather of sexually abusing and molesting her
The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose BlanchardThe Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard (Courtesy of the Blanchard family/Lifetime)

After Dee Dee was badly injured in a car accident in 2000, Gypsy was sent to live with her grandfather, Claude Pitre, Sr. Gypsy alleged that during this time, she was sexually abused and molested by Claude.


“My grandpa would take me out of my wheelchair and bring me into a closet or the shack that was behind their house where he would do wood-working and he would perform sexual acts on me,” Gypsy said. “He would make me touch him and he would touch me.”


When asked about the abuse allegations, Claude denied them on camera, claiming that Gypsy had tried to touch him: “She would try to touch me, and I’d say no. Don’t do that. . . . She started that when she was about four years old . . . she was trying to touch me.”


Gypsy’s uncle, Evans Pitre, asserted that the allegations were untrue and “probably taught to her [Gypsy] by her mom . . . to throw the spotlight on someone else besides her.” Gypsy, however, insisted that it “100% happened,” and even said she wants nothing to do with her grandfather.

Dee Dee allegedly put Roundup in her stepmother’s food
Roundup no Glyphospahte weed killerPlastic containers Roundup no Glyphospahte weed killer spray (Geography Photos/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

According to Gypsy’s cousin Bobby Pitre, Dee Dee harbored a deep hatred for her stepmother, Laura Mae. After Dee Dee recovered from her injuries, she stayed at Claude’s place and began poisoning Laura’s food with weed killer.


“One day, my grandfather and Gypsy were hanging out, and Gypsy sees the Roundup in the corner and tells my grandfather, ‘Oh that’s the vitamins that mom gives to grandma Laura Mae,’” Bobby said.


Gypsy said she knew that her mother had “this hatred” towards Laura Mae. She recalled a heated argument between her mother and step-grandmother, in which Laura Mae told Dee Dee that she didn’t want Dee Dee living with her and Claude anymore. Dee Dee and Gypsy left Claude’s house and moved to Slidell, Louisiana.

Gypsy became addicted to pain medications
Prescription opioid pain pillsPrescription opioid pain pills spilling out of medicine bottle (Getty Images/Julia Mascardo)

Dee Dee claimed Gypsy suffered from several chronic conditions including leukemia, asthma and muscular dystrophy. In one instance, Dee Dee sought assistance from an ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist for Gypsy’s excessive salivation, a common problem in children diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Gypsy's salivation problem wasn't caused by cerebral palsy — instead, it was caused by Dee Dee, who would numb Gypsy’s mouth with Orajel, which caused her to drool. Although Gypsy was never diagnosed with the neurological disorder, her salivary glands were removed.


“After surgery, I had more and more of my teeth removed. And now, I have 16 of my teeth left. Today, my dentures don’t fit in properly,” Gypsy said, adding that she wasn’t able to get a new set of teeth while in prison because “they don’t do that here.”


The surgery also fueled Gypsy’s addiction to pain medication, which she opened up about for the very first time in the documentary. After her prescription ran out, Gypsy said she would secretly “take one or two” of her mother’s prescribed Vicodin to help ease the pain.


“I didn’t know what addiction really was. I just knew that it was a craving . . . and all I could think about,” she said.


When she first got to prison, Gypsy said she was “subjected to a lot of peer pressure" and her addiction worsened. She smoked for about a year, first by vaping and then with real cigarettes. During the first few years of her incarceration, Gypsy said she coped by using drugs like suboxone, a narcotic drug used to treat opioid addiction.


“Instantly, I was brought back to the addiction that I had to pain pills, back when I was living with my mother,” she continued. Gypsy recalled the time she lied to her stepmother, Kristy Blanchard, so she could pay a fellow inmate back for drugs: “I told her that I accidentally broke this girl’s CD player and if she could please send $50.”


“I hated myself and I hated what I became,” Gypsy said. She eventually told Kristy the truth and said she is now sober.

Dee Dee chained Gypsy to the bed for two weeks as punishment
The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose BlanchardThe Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard (Courtesy of the Blanchard family/Lifetime)

In 2011, Gypsy made a plan to run away from home, after she met a man named Dan — who was 36 years old then — at a sci-fi convention. The pair began an online relationship on Facebook, where they exchanged messages routinely. Gypsy opened up to Dan about her life at home and her mother. He became the first person to know that Gypsy could walk.


Gypsy, who believed she was 15 at the time, fantasized about being older so she could legally be together with Dan. She later came across her Medicaid card, which revealed that she was actually 19 and born in 1991 — not 1995, like her mother had claimed. The shocking revelation was enough to encourage Gypsy to run away from home.


Gypsy stole her mother’s pain medication and cash before fleeing to Dan’s friend's house, where Dan was staying. When she arrived, she learned (much to her horror) that Dan was on parole and couldn’t leave Missouri.


“My first reaction was ‘Oh my God. She’s going to find me,’” Gypsy recalled.


Dee Dee was able to locate Gypsy using her cell phone, which fell out of her backpack when she attempted to run away. Gypsy eventually agreed to come back home when Dee Dee told her that she could continue seeing Dan.


However, once they returned, Dee Dee smashed Gypsy’s computer and her cell phone. She also chained Gypsy to the bed using handcuffs and a dog leash. Gypsy was chained for two whole weeks.


“I was at her mercy for everything, so to go to the bathroom, for food,” Gypsy said. “As punishment, she would not feed me every day and she would eat whatever she wanted. It was these things that she would do that was almost taunting.”

Dee Dee put a Voodoo hex on Gypsy so she would never find love
Voodoo dollVoodoo doll (Getty Images/DedMityay)

After Gypsy's two-week-long punishment was over, Dee Dee decided to also put a Voodoo hex on her daughter so she would be unsuccessful in love. Gypsy recalled her mother putting a cow’s tongue, a picture of Dan, a picture of Gypsy and “a little bit” of Gypsy’s menstrual blood in a mason jar. Dee Dee buried the jar in the backyard and told Gypsy, “You will never find love. You will never be happy.”


“I just think that it’s true because every time I get close to someone, they leave me,” Gypsy said.

Gypsy first attempted to kill her mother with a BB gun
BB gun pelletsBB gun pellets (Getty Images/markcarper)

Gypsy tried to run away again in 2011. She packed a bag and hid it under the couch but unfortunately, Dee Dee found it and confronted her about her plans to flee from home. Gypsy, in a moment of fear and panic, grabbed a gun her mother had purchased and “pulled the trigger as many times as I could.”


Gypsy realized that the gun she had used was actually a BB gun when she noticed her mother’s superficial wounds. She recalled feeling relieved at the time because “I did not intend to kill her.”


“But the point is, I was shocked that I pulled the trigger at all,” Gypsy added.


Records revealed that when Dee Dee went to receive medical care for her injuries, she lied about the incident. Dee Dee told doctors that she and Gypsy were robbed by a man, who had shot her 10 times with an air pellet gun. Everyone believed the story and no one suspected any wrongdoing on Dee Dee’s part.

Ex-boyfriend Nick Godejohn claimed to have a vampiric “alternate personality”
Bats flyingBats flying (Getty Images/BirdHunter591)

In 2012, Gypsy began an online relationship with Nick Godejohn, who she met on the website Christian Dating For Free. After publicizing their relationship on Facebook, Gypsy said one of Nick’s exes reached out to her to warn her that Godejohn was verbally abusive, violent and controlling. Gypsy ignored the warning, believing that the ex was "jaded." Gypsy and Godejohn met in person for the first time in 2015.     


After Dee Dee filed for power of attorney, Gypsy said she proposed the idea of killing her mother to Godejohn, who was on board. He told Gypsy about his “alternate personality” — a 500-year-old vampire who loved killing and would kill Dee Dee for her. Godejohn allegedly “directed” Gypsy to research ways to commit murder, suggesting poison and arson. Gypsy said she suggested using a gun, but Godejohn told her it would be too loud and alert the neighbors.


The pair eventually settled on using a knife to kill Dee Dee. Gypsy said she stole the weapon from a Walmart.


“I look at myself (then) as a scared little girl trapped and desperate to get out of a bad situation,” she said. “I wish that I knew that there were people that I could go to for help. I wish that I would’ve known that I didn’t have to commit this crime.”


Gypsy recalled a conversation she had with her mother on the night of the murder. She said that Nick had told her to tell Dee Dee "I love you" one last time.


“I gave her a big hug,” Gypsy said. “And I remember her telling me, ‘What’s that for? I’m not dead yet.’ It was so ironic.” Gypsy went into Dee Dee’s bedroom afterwards and cried. “A part of me didn’t want to go through with it [the murder]. I hugged her pillow because it had her scent.”

Godejohn allegedly raped Gypsy after murdering Dee Dee
The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose BlanchardThe Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard (Courtesy of the Blanchard family/Lifetime)

After her mother had gone to sleep, Gypsy said she texted Godejohn, who arrived at the house and instructed Gypsy to go to the bathroom and cover her ears. Moments before her death, Dee Dee called out for help.


“To this day, I can’t get that out of my head,” Gypsy tearfully said. “And I want to help her, but I don’t. I just sit there. I don’t do anything. I just sit there and then I hear her screaming again, and then there was one sharp scream, and then it was over.”


Gypsy said she was “completely dissociated” throughout the murder. She alleged that after Godejohn finished the job, he “commanded” Gypsy to be naked and raped her. “Because I didn’t let him rape my mother, I had to agree to let him rape me,” she said.


“After Nick killed my mother, he told me to get in my bedroom and take off all the stuffed animals that was on my bed. I knew that he was going to have sex with me. Never once was it a fantasy to me,” Gypsy said. “When I yelled ‘stop,’ he didn’t. I called for my mother.”


According to the documentary, Godejohn has never been charged with sexual assault, despite Gypsy’s allegations.

Gypsy’s family was skeptical of her marriage to Ryan Anderson
Ryan Anderson; Gypsy Rose BlanchardRyan Anderson and Gypsy Rose Blanchard attend "The Prison Confessions Of Gypsy Rose Blanchard" Red Carpet Event on January 05, 2024 in New York City. (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Ryan Scott Anderson, a 37-year-old sixth grade social studies teacher, said he began writing to Gypsy in prison in 2020 as part of a deal with his friend, who wanted to write to Joe Exotic from the hit Netflix series “Tiger King.”


"'Tiger King' was very popular at the time. And so my friend said, 'Oh, I really want to write Tiger King,'" Anderson said. "And I said, 'OK, well, I'll make a deal with you. You write Tiger King. I'll write Gypsy Rose Blanchard.' And that's what happened."


Gypsy said she admired Anderson’s sense of humor in his first letter to her. She revealed that she was in a relationship at the time, but quickly broke things off with her boyfriend so she could pursue a relationship with Anderson.


The pair wrote to each other for 14 months before Anderson met Blanchard at the Chillicothe Correctional Center, he said. On their third visit, Anderson proposed to Gypsy with an engagement ring he snuck into the prison by wearing it on a chain. Gypsy and Anderson married in a small prison ceremony on July 21, 2022, less than a month after obtaining their marriage license.


Gypsy’s father Rod and stepmother Kristy met Anderson shortly before the wedding. Although the family offered their support for the newlyweds, they also expressed their concerns with the pacing of the relationship and timing of the marriage.


“Ryan’s demeanor was very pleasant. Real sweet, good manners. And it makes me happy that she has somebody she can turn to,” Kristy said. “But, I said, ‘Gypsy, I’ll support what you want to do, but please don’t get married.’ Learn his habits, learn everything there is, just like he would need to learn with you. Walk out as a single woman or dating Ryan — don’t walk out married.”


Three months after the wedding, Kristy advised Gypsy to get an annulment when Gypsy and Anderson had an argument about Gypsy being in contact with an ex-boyfriend. Gypsy and Anderson, however, were able to work through their issues:


“I said, ‘I need help, I need therapy and I think that you do, too,'” Gypsy said. “So he got a therapist and he has gotten me a therapist. And that has been the last argument that we have had.”


As for Rod, he told Gypsy on a phone call, “I like Ryan; he seems pretty genuine. So if you really love each other, it’s going to work out and y’all gonna make it. You have to be in love with him, and you know, I wasn’t in love with your mom. Wish I would have, but you can’t force that. And it’s not always going to be easy. Just be strong for him when he’s weak, and he’ll be strong for you.”

“The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard" is currently available for streaming on Lifetime. Watch a trailer for it below, via YouTube:


By Joy Saha

Joy Saha is a staff writer at Salon. She writes about food news and trends and their intersection with culture. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.