Gypsy Rose Blanchard Is Now a Free Woman but Her Ex Remains in Prison — Here's Why

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Jan. 2 2024, Published 3:06 p.m. ET

Gypsy Rose Blanchard and Nick Godejohn
Source: YouTube/Oxygen (video still); KY3 News (video still)

Gypsy Rose Blanchard and ex-boyfriend Nick Godejohn

The Gist:

  • Dee Dee Blanchard suffered from Munchausen syndrome by proxy and as such convinced her daughter Gypsy she was ill.
  • Eventually Gypsy Blanchard met a boy named Nick Godejohn on a Christian singles website.
  • Blanchard asked Godejohn to kill her mother so she could escape and they could be together, so he did.
  • Godejohn was convicted of first-degree murder for committing the crime himself, but is appealing his conviction.
  • Blanchard was released from prison in December 2023.
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The heartbreaking story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard's childhood and downfall has been told in both documentaries and a fictionalized series. Ultimately, a crime freed her from an existence that some would describe as punishment. To say that going to prison for the murder of one's mother is almost a blessing in horrific disguise sounds impossible to understand. However, that's kind of what happened.

For years Blanchard's mother convinced her daughter she was suffering from various ailments that ranged from muscular dystrophy to leukemia, the latter of which resulted in Dee Dee shaving Blanchard's head. Things changed when Blanchard met Nick Godejohn on a Christian singles website, per BuzzFeed News. The two began dating and things escalated in June 2015 when they killed Dee Dee. Both went to prison for the murder, but only Godejohn received a life sentence. Here's why.

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Why did Nick Godejohn get a life sentence while Gypsy Rose didn't?

In the police confession obtained by Oxygen, Godejohn was convinced by authorities to come clean about what happened because this would be an act of love for Blanchard. During the interrogation, police told Godejohn that Blanchard already "told them everything," which is a tactic commonly used by authorities to elicit a confession. The first thing Godejohn says is Blanchard asked him to kill her mother.

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"The only reason I did it 'cause I did it for me and her," said Godejohn. According to Godejohn, Blanchard wanted to do it herself but she simply couldn't muster up the courage. On June 9, 2015, Godejohn traveled from Wisconsin to Missouri where he would end up stabbing Dee Dee 17 times while Blanchard was next door in her bedroom. The couple then fled but were caught after Blanchaed posted "That B---- is dead!" on Dee Dee's Facebook page, per People.

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The Springfield News-Leader reported that in February 2019, Godejohn was found guilty of first-degree murder and was "sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole," because there was no doubt he committed the actual murder. Blanchard plead guilty to second-degree murder and was given a 10-year sentence. She was released in December 2023.

Godejohn's attorneys filed an appeal in December 2023.

In December 2023 another appeal was filed on behalf of Godejohn. His public defender Tyler Coyle told KY3 News that "Mr. Godejohn was alleging that the only reason that he was found guilty in his jury trial was because he had ineffective assistance of trial counsel." Coyle went on to say that "in his last trial, he argued that his mental state did not meet the requirements for first-degree murder. The jury should have only found him guilty of second-degree murder." A panel of three judges will decide if he gets another day in court.

In an earlier appeal attempt in August 2022, Godejohn "appeared in a Greene County courtroom, asking to set aside his previous conviction and order a new trial on the grounds that he had ineffective counsel in his trial," reported People. His lawyer argued that Godejohn's limited mental capacity kept him from fully understanding what was going on. This motion was denied.

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