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This Is The True Story Behind Gypsy Rose And Dee Dee Blanchard
A brand new anthology series called The Act based on the lives of Gypsy Rose and Dee Dee Blanchard is set to hit Hulu later this year, but what is the true story behind the disturbing mother-daughter relationship?
To the outside world, Gypsy Rose was a poor cancer stricken girl with a host of illnesses from leukemia to muscular dystrophy - but her dedicated mother Dee Dee was always by her side.
That's why it came as such a shock when Dee Dee was found bludgeoned to death in her own home while her wheelchair bound daughter was nowhere to be seen.
At first, people assumed Gypsy Rose must've been kidnapped by her mother's attacker, which is why everyone was delighted when she was found just days later. However, to everyone's surprise - Gypsy was found not as the thin, bald cancer patient they knew her as, but as a strong woman who was capable of walking and eating on her own.
Questions began to be asked over how Gypsy could've changed so dramatically overnight. Had she ever been sick? And what on earth happened to her mother?
When she was just a small child, Dee Dee took Gypsy Rose to the hospital convinced she had sleep apnea, despite there being no obvious signs. After that she determined that Gypsy had an unspecified chromosomal disorder. As a result, Dee Dee obsessively watched her daughter, living in fear that disaster could strike at any moment.
When Gypsy was just eight years old, she fell off her grandfather's motorcycle and grazed her knee, but her mother was convinced it was far more sinister - deciding her daughter must remain in a wheelchair so not to aggravate her knee further.
Soon, Gypsy's grandparents began questioning her condition, prompting Dee Dee to move herself and Gypsy out of their home and into a rundown apartment, living on the disability cheques she got from Gypsy's illness.
Over the years, Dee Dee self-diagnosed many more conditions in Gypsy, and even managed to convince doctors of her plight also.
The pair became high profile as a result of their campaigning for the rights of the sick and disabled, earning them trips to Disney World and backstage passes to Miranda Lambert concerts.
But as their case became more and more high profile, specialist doctors began to reach out to the pair to see if there was anything they could do. One of these doctors was Bernardo Flasterstein, a pediatric neurologist who offered to see Gypsy at his clinic in Springfield.
However, Bernardo quickly discovered that not only did Gypsy not have muscular dystrophy, but she didn't have any of the illnesses Dee Dee bestowed on her.
After telling Dee Dee he couldn't understand why Gypsy did not walk, Bernardo began making calls to other doctors. Despite Dee Dee claiming all of Gypsy's medical records had been washed away in the New Orleans floods, he was able to find doctors whose records had survived.
From there he was able to confirm that Gypsy was, from all intents and purposes, a healthy child, prompting him to believe the real illness could be within her mother. Meanwhile, Gypsy had begun the believe the same thing.
In 2010, Dee Dee told everyone her daughter was 14, despite the fact she was in fact 19-years-old. But by this point, Gypsy knew she wasn't sick, and began attempting to escape her mother.
Whenever Gypsy strayed or communicated anything to suggest she wasn't an ill riddled child, Dee Dee managed to convince everyone her mind was riddled with disease.
Gypsy began using the internet after her mother went to bed to find men in chatrooms, despite the fact Dee Dee threated to smash her fingers with a hammer after she found out. In 2012, Gypsy met Nicholas Godejohn, a 23-year-old with a history of mental illness and a criminal record for indecent exposure.
A few months later, Nicholas visited Gypsy during one of Dee Dee's rare outings, and the pair had sex - before beginning to plan Dee Dee's murder.
They decided they would wait until Dee Dee had gone to bed, Gypsy would let her in and then Nicholas would do the act. Mid-June in 2015, while Dee Dee slept, Nicholas bludgeoned her to death while Gypsy listened next door. The pair then fled before separating at Greyhound station.
After Gypsy Rose was found, she shared her story and earned sympathy from people enraged her mother treated her in such a way. Gypsy was later labelled as a victim of child abuse, citing Munchausen's by proxy as the reason behind her behaviour. However, she still faced murder charges after confessing she ordered Nicholas to kill her mother.
Then 24, Gypsy was sentenced to 10 years in prison for second-degree murder, while Nicholas is still waiting to be sentenced. While in prison, Gypsy has researched her mother's condition and has come to terms with the abuse. While she's remorseful for the murder, she still claims to be better off without her.
Last year, Gypsy claimed to feel freer in prison than she ever did living with her mother.
The Act, following Gypsy and Dee Dee's story is set to land on Hulu on 20th March.
Featured Image Credit: HBO