As we are in the process of building our platform, we will be providing short web series through both Youtube and on this website until then. We are providing an extension of our podcast called “Strange Cases: Unfolded”, which offers a traditional campfire style story telling for the next couple of weeks. Stay tune as our official podcast will launch in early 2021!
On the eve of June 14, 2015, a small town in Greene County was abruptly awoken in fear when headlines throughout the United States announced the death of Clauddine, otherwise known as “Dee-Dee” Blanchard. After she had been missing from the public for a few days, Blanchard’s next door neighbors grew concern regarding her whereabouts and decided to call 911. The deputies wasted no time in investigating the matter. As soon as the police arrived and were able to enter the residents, they were immediately immersed in a crowded and cluttered home. After taking some time having to rummage through Dee-Dee’s house, they found her lifeless corpse on the bed. The remains of Dee-Dee’s body laid face down in a pool of blood. Upon initial investigation of Dee-Dee’s room, which is the scene of the crime, the police found no indication of a forced entry. Several stab wounds were visible on Dee-Dee’s body and had been notably inflicted days prior. Time stood still as the news of Dee-Dee Blanchard’s demise quickly spread through the neighborhood, followed by the town’s headlines. The most prevailing and haunting question amongst it all was, Where is Gypsy Rose?
Gypsy Rose, Dee-Dee Blanchard’s only child, was disabled and living under the care of her mother. Distress grew larger for the neighbors, as they were well aware of Gypsy’s medical and living conditions. Whilst being introduced into the neighborhood, Dee-Dee revealed that Gypsy Rose, simply referred to as Gypsy, suffered from muscular dystrophy, leukemia, and epilepsy amongst many other illnesses. Gypsy was also considered to be mentally handicapped, with a mental capacity of a seven year old, due to a premature birth. Therefore, as the investigation continued, the question regarding Gypsy’s whereabouts grew. Gypsy’s condition, whereabouts, and potential role in her mother’s brutal murder will all be brought to light. This story will uncover how her murder would be considered to be one the most infamous case of Munchausin by Proxy. Thus, we must first explore the life of the deceased, Dee-Dee Blanchard.
Dee-Dee Blanchard was born in 1967 in Chackbay, Louisiana, within the Golden Meadows, and under the birth name Clauddine Pitre. According to Blanchard’s childhood family and friends, she was heavily involved in petty thefts. The act of stealing often occurred when things didn’t go in Dee-Dee’s favor. From the information presented alone, experts have indicated that Dee-Dee Blanchard was already showing signs of narcissism along with sociopathic tendencies during her youth. Her behavior would then carry on to her early adulthood.
As an adult, Dee-Dee worked as a nurse’s aid for a short period of time. She used this profession to take care of her mother, Emma Gisclair, who, due to old age, was deteriorating in health. The family initially did not question any of Dee-Dee’s caretaking methods. However, suspicions arose once it was revealed that Emma had died of mysterious circumstances. Her own relatives believed that Dee-Dee was behind Emma’s death. They suspected that she poisoned prepared meals with “Roundup” weed killer. Dee-Dee was alleged to have also denied Emma of any other food, so that there was no other choice but to consume the poisoned meals. The information and claims gathered during those times are arguably the earliest signs of Munchausin by Proxy, as presented by Dee-Dee Blanchard.
Munchausen by Proxy is a mental illness. More specifically, it is a disease where a caregiver makes up or causes an illness or injury in a person under his or her care. The victims are typically children, elderly, or someone with a disability of some sort. Meaning, this disease is indeed a form of child abuse or elder abuse. People diagnosed with such illness will harm a supposed sick person for the sole purpose of gaining attention. In Dee-Dee’s case, she abused her patients for financial gain and emotional sympathy. Interestingly enough, through family member interviews, it was discovered that Dee-Dee intentionally killed her mother via constant negligence.
By the age of 24, Dee-Dee began dating Rod Blanchard and a pregnancy quickly followed. Rod, at only 17, honorably attempted to accept full responsibility for the situation. They would go on to marry inorder to avoid wedlock. Thus, dubbed Dee-Dee Blanchard. Despite efforts to maintain their marital relationship, they separated right before the birth. Ultimately, Rod had expressed he was simply too young for such responsibility, although, he would later agree to pay child support. Rod would go on to confess, in an interview, that he got into the marriage for “all the wrong reasons.”
Dee-Dee then gave birth to a girl on July 27, 1991, and named her Gypsy Rose. The choice was inspired by Dee-Dee’s liking for the name “Gypsy” along with Rod being a fan of Guns N’ Roses. Financially, taking into account the paid child support, Dee-Dee couldn’t afford to take care of Gypsy on her own. Dee-Dee’s dad and stepmother reluctantly took them in and provided extra aid. Amongst this transition in their lives, Rod had remarried. Due to her bitter feelings towards his new marriage, Dee-Dee limited and attempted to sever Rod’s requested interaction with their daughter. From here, Dee-Dee soon began scheming of ways to capitalize off of Gypsy.
By the time Gypsy was three months old, Dee-Dee claimed that the infant suffered from sleep apnea, although this claim was contested by family members. Regardless, Dee-Dee took Gypsy to a hospital, where they stayed for several nights. Many tests were conducted, and sleep monitors were applied to keep track of her breathing patterns. Despite all the efforts made to diagnose Gypsy, no signs of sickness came to surface. Meaning, by all accounts, Gypsy was a healthy child.
Nevertheless, Dee-Dee misled individuals into believing that Gypsy suffers from a wide spectrum of health issues. Rod recalls Dee-Dee making plotted efforts to manipulate others and exaggerate and/or misled the conditions informed about Gypsy. In particular, there was a medical issue regarding an unspecified chromosomal disorder that was used as a scapegoat. While there wasn’t any physical evidence to support her claims, Dee-Dee made sure to convince everyone else otherwise. Gypsy was quickly instructed to utilize a walker, given unnecessary medications, and was manipulated all at the hands of her mother, Dee-Dee. This would ultimately set the beginning stages of Gypsy’s ever growing list of supposed illnesses for the next two decades.
Want to know what happens next? Listen to the rest of the story through our video below!