Gypsy Rose Blanchard, the Missouri woman who plotted to kill her mother who had abused her and forced her to fake serious illnesses, was released from prison early Thursday.
Blanchard, 32, was released from the Chillicothe Correctional Center at 3:30 a.m., the Missouri Department of Corrections said. She was granted parole and released three years before her original release date, a spokesperson said.
Blanchard had been serving a 10-year sentence on a second-degree murder charge for the June 2015 slaying of her mother, Clauddine “Dee Dee” Blanchard.
She had conspired to kill her mother with her then-boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn, who fatally stabbed Dee Dee Blanchard as the daughter hid in the bathroom of her mother’s home in Springfield, Missouri, the Springfield News Leader reported. Godejohn was sentenced in 2019 to life without the possibility of parole.
The slaying sparked a media frenzy and inspired the 2019 Hulu series “The Act” and HBO’s 2017 documentary film “Mommy Dead and Dearest.”
In court, prosecutors claimed that Blanchard’s mother had Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a psychological disorder in which a caretaker either makes up fake symptoms or causes real symptoms to make the person they are caring for appear sick, often for attention, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Blanchard testified that her mother took her to doctors all her life for various conditions, including leukemia and muscular dystrophy, and forced her to use a wheelchair and an oxygen tank that she didn’t actually need.
In an interview with talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw in 2017, she said her mother shaved her head and forced her to eat through a feeding tube.
Blanchard was isolated from the rest of the world, homeschooled and spent years unaware of what her mother was doing.
The mother and daughter received donations from charities, a local Habitat for Humanity group built them a wheelchair-accessible house in Springfield, they got a trip to Disney World, and met country singer Miranda Lambert through the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Ozarks First reported.
Blanchard said she regrets her mother’s death.
“Nobody will ever hear me say I’m glad she’s dead or I’m proud of what I did. I regret it every single day,” she told People Magazine in an interview for an upcoming cover story.
“She didn’t deserve that,” Blanchard added. “She was a sick woman and unfortunately I wasn’t educated enough to see that. She deserved to be where I am, sitting in prison doing time for criminal behavior.”