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Taft Today

Taft Today

Imprisoned Turned Free

Courtesy of Google Images.
Courtesy of Google Images.

Teenagers these days always complain about their parents and the manipulation they face while growing up. Typically, they voice their home problems through talking to peers and trusted adults. However, 32-year-old Gypsy Rose Blanchard wasn’t given the luxury of trustworthy parents to begin with.

Growing up she endured 30 unnecessary surgical procedures, numerous feeding tubes, daily medication, and overbearing confusion. With the “help” of her mother, Clauddine Blanchard, she coerced Gypsy’s physical and mental health into a ticking bomb. Over the years, Clauddine constructed a series of medical files and listings of Gypsy’s “illnesses.” This includes leukemia, asthma, and epilepsy. (Oxygen True Crime).

The story behind her mother’s murder began in 2015 when Blanchard met Nicholas Godejohn on a Christian dating site (Complex). They immediately hit it off and Blanchard confided to Godejohn about the abuse she had endured over the past 24 years. Following numerous conversations they devised a plan for Godejohn to end Clauddine’s life on June 9, 2015, and run away together in celebration to Wisconsin.

After pleading guilty to second-degree murder and serving seven years, Blanchard was released Dec. 28, 2023. (People). Her now ex-boyfriend Nicholas is currently serving life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“I heard that she was paroled, and it seems like in her reflections she got what she needed. I do think that her sentencing made sense, she served her time and learned her lesson. As long as someone develops and learns their lesson they deserve to be released back into society,” said David Fingado, teacher and IBCP coordinator. 

How did Gypsy’s mom get away with it? Coming from a medical background, Clauddine knew the ins and outs of how medical documentation worked. This allowed her to gain the advantage of sneaking her way through approvals for surgical procedures.

“Nowadays it’s hard to fake legal documentation with the amount of security and verification it has to go through. I definitely think that she had some people on the inside helping her out,” said David Marroquin, senior at Taft. 

The news of Blanchard’s release has flooded the internet and popular platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Many argue that that’s how they found out about Blanchard and her story.

When asked about Gypsy Rose’s release, Olivia Dabros, senior at Taft, said, “What do I think? She deserves the best, should live her life in Vegas and get some money for what she’s been through.” Millions of people around the world follow Blanchard’s story every day, many inspired by her hardships, others confused and disturbed. 

Accompanied by her husband, Ryan Anderson, Blanchard’s whereabouts are unknown as she lives her life close to normality. She said in a statement to People, “The choice I made to commit murder was never the right choice. My mission is to take what I’ve done and what my mom did and make it worth something.”

Her plans for the future is to use her platform and build a social media following to spread awareness about Munchausen, mothers who produce histories of illness to their children by fabricating physical signs/symptoms (WebMD), and focus on mental health.

Despite her positive upreach, Blanchard’s story still leads many to question, why murder? Why didn’t Blanchard report the abuse, come clean? “I think she should stay in prison because she was fully aware of what she did to her mom. I feel like her mom deserves jail time, not murder,” said Taquita Terell, one of Taft’s security guards. 

It’s easy to raise numerous questions about this case as many are yet to be answered. Blanchard has admitted that she aspires to make sure people in abusive relationships do not resort to murder, and there’s always another way (CBS).

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About the Contributors
Sahara Samrah
Sahara Samrah, Reporter
Martyna Jeziorska
Martyna Jeziorska, Reporter