THE GRUESOME MURDER OF DEE DEE BLANCHARD PART 2: STRANGE CASES UNFOLDED EPISODE 4

When we last left the story, we covered the history behind Dee Dee Blanchard and her upbringing prior to the event of Hurricane Katrina. For this episode, we will unveil Gypsy’s own story and her development under Dee Dee’s care. Physical and mental abuse were the least of Gypsy’s concern during this time. As we dig through the case, the circumstances will take many turns before Dee Dee meets her ultimate fate. This is the strange case of Dee Dee Blanchard’s murder.

As previously mentioned, Dee Dee and Gypsy were forced to relocate after the impact of Hurricane Katrina destroyed their apartment in Louisiana. When they initially moved to Aurora, Missouri, a city located just southwest of the state, they did not have much. During this time, Dee continued to monetize Gypsy and conned plenty of recognition, awards, and sympathy because of her “triumphs” with all the alleged medical conditions. Dee Dee would make claims on Gypsy’s behalf, and conveniently warp her medical conditions as she saw most lucrative.  

For instance, Oley Foundation, a non profit organization that specializes in tube-feeding advocations, honored Gypsy as its 2007 Child of the Year. Gypsy began relying on tube feeding methods after Dee Dee told doctors that her daughter had complications with swallowing food.The process of applying and replacing tubes in Gypsy’s stomach was a painful process. Anesthesia was not provided during these surgeries because Gypsy had to stay awake. Dee Dee was quick to begin her manipulation and, in turn, the state of Missouri made sure the family was well taken care of.  

In 2008, Habitat for Humanity, after learning of Gypsy’s tragic circumstances, volunteered to build a small hanicaple home with a wheelchair ramp, which upon compilation, Dee Dee and Gypsy moved in. The house was built in Springfield, Missouri, and even included a hot tub area. From here, Dee Dee became well aware of how they were perceived by the public eye and utilized to her benefit. She knew that the story of a single mother with a disabled daughter, combined with their tragic journey due to Katrina’s destructive nature, would render major sympathy within the small town. Indeed, many of the locals offered to help in any way they could. Dee Dee felt like she had the town under her control. So that people could not “dig deeper” into her affairs, Dee Dee changed her name to Clauddinnea Blancharde. Thus, dubbed Clauddinnea Blancharde. New name, new location, although, same munchausen by proxy tendencies. 

The town continued to support Clauddinnea and Gypsy’s lifestyle through means of charitable contributions. For example, The Ronald McDonald Foundation provided the family with their own housing during extended medical appointments/treatments that Gypsy received. They also received free flights to visit the Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, free trips to Walt Disney World, and were also given multiple financial donations, which funded Clauddinnea’s stay-at-home mom role. The contributions didn’t stop there, nor the treatment of Gypsy. 

On several occasions, Gypsy was granted photo opps at, and VIP access to, Miranda Lambert’s concerts by Make-A-Wish Foundation. On top of it, Rod Blanchard still continued to send Clauddinea his monthly child support payments of $1200. He even showered Gypsy with gifts and contacted her via telephone frequently in attempts to maintain a stable relationship with the family. Despite his efforts to communicate with Gypsy, Clauddinnea made sure to keep it limited. 

Rod’s second wife supported him in trying to rekindle his relationship with Gypsy. However, Clauddinnea made many excuses to change plans each time Rod would attempt to visit Springfield. Even when Rod would talk to Gypsy on the phone, Clauddinnea would force him to lie about Gypsy’s age. On Gypsy’s 18th birthday, Rod expressed in an interview that Clauddinnea mentioned not to reveal Gypsy’s true age. Stating, “she thinks she’s 14”. Clauddinnea went as far as to portray Rod, to her neighbors, as an abusive drug addict and alcoholic, who never came to terms with their daughter’s health conditions. She also claimed that he had not been providing any financial aid.  

Many people who met Gypsy were captivated by her presence. After all, Gypsy Rose was very small, standing at only five feet tall. Being confined to a wheelchair made her all the more small and fragile looking. Along with a nearly toothless mouth, oversized glasses hovering her face, and a child-like high pitch voice, each physical attribution reinforced the sickening perception that Dee-Dee tried to showcase with her community. To top it off, Dee-Dee routinely shaved Gypsy’s head to make her appear like a patient who is recovering from chemotherapy. Gypsy would then wear many colorful wigs to cover the baldness. The mother was able to cover up her intentions by telling her daughter that it will all eventually fall off from the medications taken anyway. Dee-Dee had her daughter and her community wrapped around her finger. Gypsy was merely a puppet in her mother’s ultimate plan to look like a town hero. Dee-Dee would then finish the routine by leaving the household with an oxygen tank and feeding tube on Gypsy Rose as she would walk her daughter out the door and on to the rail afterwards. It was top performance for the family on a daily basis. Unfortunately, Gypsy was a victim in all of this. She knew little to nothing of Dee-Dee’s intentions. The only circumstances that Gypsy was aware of included her ability to walk. Besides the given fact, Gypsy was just as clueless to the real conditions of her health.

Dee-Dee made it an every day goal to have control in how the community viewed her and her daughter. This meant, even if required force and abuse on the child, so be it. The mother used psychological warfare to manipulate her daughter’s action. For instance, Dee-Dee would hold her daughter’s hand firmly in public appearances to subtly assert her dominance. If Gypsy were to make a statement in opposition to Dee-Dee’s ideals, especially if it alluded that Gypsy was rather a normal child, she would then be given a very tight squeeze. 

The abuse eventually led to more physical measures. As Gypsy grew more rebellious with age, Dee-Dee would resort to striking her with her own hands or through the use of a coat hanger. This often occurred in their own privacy.

As if things couldn’t get more out of hand, Dee-Dee still felt the need to expand Gypsy’s medical history. The interventions managed to continue. As previously mentioned in our story, Clauddinnea had some of Gypsy’s saliva glands treated with Botox, then extracted altogether, to control her drooling. Gypsy later claimed in an interview that her mother had induced her by using a topical anesthetic to numb her gums before doctor visits. Since Dee Dee had a nursing background profession, she had the knowledge with medicine to manipulate Gypsy’s appearance. The use of anesthetics caused her salivary glands to dry up. During this time, Gypsy was also taking anti-seizure medications at the same time. The combination of both medication eventually led to her teeth decaying.

The decay grew so badly to the point of no salvation. Therefore, her front teeth were then extracted and replaced by a bridge. To make things worse, tubes were implanted in her ears to control her myriad purported ear infections. The ever growing list of medical issues, of course led to many doctors questioning Dee-Dee’s true motives.

In one particular situation, a doctor became suspicious of Gypsy’s supposed muscular dystrophy diagnosis, during a hospital visit back in Springfield. The doctor went by the name of Bernardo Flasterstein. He was a pediatric neurologist when Gypsy first visited his office. He used MRIs and blood tests to examine Gypsy’s conditions. However, the doctor found no abnormalities. Bernardo was conflicted and later reported to Dee-Dee that Gypsy should be able to walk normally. He later noted in an interview that he witnessed Gypsy being able to stand perfectly when being weighed for evaluation.

Bernardo even claimed that Dee-Dee had “spotty” recollection when trying to provide the doctor with a proper medical history on her daughter. Dee-Dee often used Hurricane Katrina as an excuse for the lack of proper documents. Regardless, many of the muscle biopsy reports still concluded as negative when the results came in. Therefore, this disqualified all of Dee-Dee’s self-reported diagnosis on Gypsy. The claimed information conflicted with the facts, and evidence. It was then when Bernardo began to suspect Dee-Dee of having signs of Munchausen by proxy. Of course, Dee-Dee caught on to Bernardo’s suspicions, as she gained access to the doctor’s medical reports. As a result, the family suddenly stopped visiting his office.

Bernardo still made efforts to spread the word. However, many other doctors discouraged his actions when trying to report to social services. Dee-Dee’s public persona through the media made them a force to be reckoned with, and he feared scrutiny against the community. Those oppositions alone made the doctor feel like authority wouldn’t adhere to his words. There were other attempts to expose Dee-Dee’s true nature. Many of this included reports of misinformation and identity changes. Dee-Dee protested against the claims through the excuse of domestic abuse from previous partners. Her strong rebuttals against each claim helped close the cases in a rather, quick manner. 

As Gypsy continued to grow, her interest for love and adulthood blossomed. Dee-Dee allowed Gypsy access to the internet during her free time, which would later nurture her love for science fiction and fantasy. This internet access would also foster further curiosity into her situation. The interests then transitioned to cosplaying overtime. 

Since 2001, Gypsy had attended science fiction and fantasy conventions, sometimes in costume, and even in her wheelchair. In one particular convention in 2011, she made what may have been an attempt to escape after meeting up with a stranger. The attempt abruptly ended when Gypsy’s mother found her in a hotel room with a man she had met online. Again, Dee-Dee produced the paperwork by giving the daughter’s false, younger birth date, and threatened the man to inform police if Gypsy did not comply with her demands. The threats won in Dee-Dee’s favor when Gypsy eventually agreed to go back home with her.

Gypsy recalls that afterwards, Dee-Dee smashed her computer with a hammer as soon as they arrived home. Dee-Dee then pressured to do the same to Gypsy’s fingers if she ever tried to escape again. The threats then concluded to Gypsy being tied and handcuffed to her bed for the next two weeks. Dee-Dee later told Gypsy that she had filed paperwork with the police, and argued that Gypsy was mentally incompetent to make decisions on her own. This lessened Gypsy’s intentions of reporting to local authorities for help. She desperately feared that no one would listen to her story if she brought herself to light. Gypsy’s hopes of escaping this hellish nightmare appears to be a distant image at this point.

Want to know what happens next? Listen to the rest of the story through our video below!

The Gruesome Murder of Dee Dee Blanchard PART 1: Strange Cases Unfolded Episode 3

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!

The Bizarre True Story of Carl Tanzler: Strange Cases Unfolded Episode 2

The Strange Case of Carl Tanzler

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!

Necrophilia can be described as a mental illness when a person finds sexual arousal towards dead bodies. The symptoms can vary from person to person. It’s also one of the more well known subjects of psychology due to its morbidity. Today, we will take a blast from the past and retell the foundations of necrophilia. And that story will be the strange case of Karl Tanzler, the man who longed for his patient’s decaying corpse. 

Karl Tanzler was born on February 8, 1877 in Dresden, Germany. Besides being involved in World War I, not many strange accounts or behaviors were reported about Tanzler’s upbringing. There is, however, one particular moment in his early days that can be described as odd or fascinating. 

At a specific moment in his childhood, Tanzler claimed to have been visited by visions of a dead ancestor. Her name was Countess Anna. Tanzler claimed that during the visit, his dead relative disclosed who would eventually be his one and true love. The woman of his dreams was to be described as dark haired and exotic. From here on, Tanzler has made it a point to remember every information provided for the next years to come.

This vision laid the foundation to what would be one of the most bizarre cases in psychology history.

Fast forward to his later years as an adult, Tanzler left Germany in 1926 after his involvement in World War I.  Unexpectedly, Tanzler decided to leave his wife and children and began a new life in Key West. Once he arrived in Florida, Tanzler took the job title as a count and claimed to be a former submarine captain. He also presented himself as an inventor. The following year, he became a radiologist for the United States Marine Hospital.

Tanzler was usually a quiet man and he kept to himself often. However, this all changed when he met a patient by the name of Elena de Hoyos. By the moment Tanzler met Elena, he broke out of his shell. As mentioned earlier, Tanzler had always dreamed of a beautiful lady who had dark hair. Along with a Carribean background, Hoyos perfectly fit the exotic description in the eyes of Tanzler. Therefore, it was a dream come true for him. He was immediately infatuated with the young lady. Her frequent visits to the radiologist enabled Tanzler to lavish Hoyos with gifts and attention as she grew more ill with each passing time.

According to History Daily:

When Elena De Hoyos visited Tanzler’s office for medical aid, it was revealed that she was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Since this was the late 1920s, the medical field had little to no knowledge of how to cure such a disease at the time. Therefore, death was definitely an impending sentence for Hoyos. This didn’t stop Tanzler from pursuing Hoyos’ love though. Despite all of the hospital protocols, Tanzler used outside methods in an attempt to cure Hoyos from her illness. These methods included the usage of natural remedies, elixirs, and even x-ray equipment that he borrowed from the office and brought to Hoyos’ home. 

While all of these procedures occurred, Tanzler still made efforts to display his love and affection for Elena de Hoyos. Through her dying breath, he expressed his undying love endlessly. Tanzler’s love was obvious, but historians could not determine if Hoyos reciprocated his romantic feelings. There was not any document to dispute or proves her views towards Tanzler.

During this time, keep in mind that Carl Tanzler was a lot older than Hoyos. She was only 22 at the time of her illness, and Tanzler was already at least 45.

Despite all of the efforts to cure Hoyos from tuberculosis, she had no chance in surviving an uphill battle. Hoyos passed away due to complications from the disease on October 25, 1931. To pay respect from the death of his supposed true love, Tanzler decided to pay for the funeral expenses with his own money. Tanzler also paid for her confinement to be placed in a stone mausoleum. If this wasn’t strange enough to the Hoyos family, only Tanzler had access to the building. He obtained the one and only key to the mausoleum. Therefore, Tanzler took advantage of the situation and visited her grave site nearly every evening for the next two years.

After two years have elapsed since Hoyo’s death, Tanzler broke his regular habit and fell into darkness. First off, Tanzler lost his job as a radiologist. He then ended his nightly visits to Hoyo’s mausoleum as well. It was so odd and abrupt that even the Hoyos family took notice of the situation. The family was well aware of Tanzler’s love and devotion for Elena de Hoyos. However, it was not enough for them to begin investigating Tanzler’s daily routine. This choice would be a grave mistake for the Hoyos family with what’s to come next in this story.

Tanzler managed to find a way to spend more time with Elena de Hoyos. On one particular night, Tanzler made the decision to load up Elena’s decaying corpse and carried her body out of the graveyard with a toy wagon. He then took her decaying corpse to a makeshift lab and mummified Elena de Hoyos with wires, wax, plaster, and glass eyes. After hours of work perfecting the mummy, Tanzler finally felt that she was ready to move to his home. The nightmare continues.

Want to know what happens next? Listen to the rest of the story through our video below!

Sources from the scary case can be found through the links below:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Ta…

https://web.archive.org/web/200608270…

TRUE UNSOLVED PHONE STALKER MYSTERY: Strange Cases Unfolded Episode 1

The KuyKendall Phone Stalking Case:

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!

For this week, we will cover the story of the Kuykendall phone stalker case. The case focuses on a group of people whom are struck with threatening phone calls that will continue to persist for the next four months. Listen to this bone chilling true story as detectives still aim to determine who is the culprit behind this madness.

During the howling winter months of 2007 in Fircrest, Washington, a series of strange phone calls began to terrorize the Kuykendall family. Each of the family members kept receiving terrifying phone calls from a source unknown to them. To this day, the case is still unsolved and not one person can be pinned as a definite suspect. Will they ever be able to solve the mystery behind the other line? Let’s date back to the very beginning of this case and see for ourselves. 

The incident randomly began with a sixteen year old girl named Courtney Kuykendall. It all happened when her cell phone sent the most random messages to her close friends. At first, they appeared to be no more than just a mere immature prank. Courtney’s friends collectively received one word texts with derogatory terms. After getting such a message, the friends then approached Courtney and questioned her intentions of doing it. But, this baffled Courtney. Not because of how immature the prank seemed to be, but it was the fact that she didn’t send any of those texts. Unfortunately though, the texts served no purpose in solving any of the future mysteries.

Right after the suspicious prank, Kuykendall’s family also started to receive alarming phone calls themselves. The calls came on a daily basis. However, no identity ever came to surface when figuring out who this caller was. So eventually, the family referred to the caller as “Restricted” since this was the only information that they could gather from the caller ID. The conversations carried throughout time grew more and more threatening. Each moment when a person answered their phone, “Restricted” would threaten to kill or rape a family member, including the grandparents. The ominous scratchy voice dives further into detail by describing how he’ll slit their throats one by one. The caller would also go as far as threatening to attack the schools that the kids attended and even swore to murder their pets. Whether it was through cellular or landline, the messages never took a moment to stop. 

Heather Kuykendall once claimed in an interview that the stalkers would say this to them repeatedly. “They say you’re going to die, we hate you, we’re going to murder you.”

The family got desperate in attempting to stop the insanity. The family at one point changed their phone numbers, turned it off, and even signed up for a new account twice. Sadly though, the efforts made failed to slow down their stalker. If anything, the circumstances grew stranger for Courtney.

Want to know what happens next? Listen to the rest of the story through our video below!

Sources from the scary case can be found through the links below:

https://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?i…

https://www.ranker.com/list/washingto…

https://www.reddit.com/r/UnresolvedMy…