Gypsy Rose Blancharde is serving 10 years in prison after taking part in the murder of her abusive mother, Dee Dee Blancharde, with the help of her then-boyfriend. In the powerful HBO documentary, Mommy Dead and Dearest, we learn about Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a mental illness in which a caretaker secretly makes their dependent ill in order to gain attention, sympathy, and/or power.
This particular case of Munchausen syndrome by proxy is noted by psychologists as one of the worst cases ever recorded — Dee Dee manipulated Gypsy, doctors, family members, and the community to believe that Gypsy was severely ill. Dee Dee claimed Gypsy had cancer, cerebral palsy, paralysis, cognitive disabilities, and more. Dee Dee even convinced doctors to remove Gypsy’s salivary glands and insert a feeding tube.
Mommy Dead and Dearest contains numerous prison interviews with Gypsy, as well as interviews with her father, Rod, and her stepmom, Kristy. We had a chance to speak to Kristy and the documentary’s director, Erin Lee Carr, about what Gypsy aspires to do once she gets out of prison in 10 years — or in eight-and-a-half years when she is up for parole.
HelloGiggles: We’re wondering, what does Gypsy aspire to do once she gets out of prison?
Kristy Blanchard: She had told me that one day, she hopes when she gets out, that she wants to be able to grow a family. And she had mentioned that to one of her cellmates, and her cellmate said, “Well, aren’t you too scared to raise your child like your mom did?” And she said, “What I have learned is how to not raise my child how my mom raised me. I am learning how to raise my child by [Kristy,] my mom I have now. With compassion, and with love, and being honest, and being there for your child for all the right reasons.” I was like, “Gypsy, you’re gonna make me cry.” And this is just a phone call.
She’s talked about wanting to go to a culinary school, which she could do … After she gets her GED in prison, she could start taking college courses, or doing cosmetology. They don’t have a hundred things to take classes for. And so that is what she’s basically wanting to do.
So that’s what she’s thinking of in the future. And I’m like, “Don’t worry about it right now. When that point comes, don’t worry. Daddy and I know a lot of people.” She loves the library. My mother-in-law and my sister-in-law both work at the library, and my sister-in-law is one of the managers. So they could probably get her working there, which she’d love, because she loves books. So I’m like, “Don’t worry baby. We will handle that when it comes. Just concentrate on getting your GED.” She is also concerned about wanting to have a skilled profession when she gets out.
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You can check out the documentary on HBO.