A Missouri woman whose mom made her pretend to be sick and wheelchair-bound for years to attract sympathy for herself tells Dr. Phil that she regrets her role in her mother’s stabbing murder, but that her 10-year prison sentence on a second-degree murder conviction is too harsh given what her mom forced her to endure.
Before Dee Dee Blanchard, 48, was found in a pool of blood in the pair’s Springfield, Missouri, home, in June 2015, the community accepted what she’d told them about daughter Gypsy Rose: that she was a terminally ill teen with the mind of a 7-year-old who suffered from muscular dystrophy, leukemia and other ailments.
But with Gypsy Rose missing from the crime scene, worried authorities went searching for her — and discovered she was a 23-year-old adult fully capable of walking on her own and allegedly enlisting her boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn, then 26, to help plot her mother’s murder.
Experts say Gypsy Rose was the victim of Munchausen by proxy, a rare form of abuse in which a guardian exaggerates or induces illness in a child for attention and sympathy.
In an exclusive clip from a two-part Dr. Phil interview with Gypsy Rose that airs Nov. 21 and 22, Dr. Phil McGraw asks Gypsy Rose, “Should you be in this prison?”
“To be honest, I have complicated feelings about that,” Gypsy Rose says. “I believe firmly that, no matter what, murder is not okay. But at the same time I don’t believe I deserve as many years as I got.”
“What would be your just punishment?” McGraw asks.
“I’m not really certain on that,” she replies. “I do believe that I do deserve to spend some time in prison for that crime. But I also understand why it happened, and I don’t believe that I’m in the right place to get the help that I need.”
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“Are you glad your mother’s dead?” McGraw asks her.
“No sir,” Gypsy Rose says. “I’m glad that I’m out of that situation, but I’m not happy she’s dead.”
Gypsy Rose was sentenced for second-degree murder in July 2015. Godejohn, who has pleaded not guilty, is awaiting trial.
Mother Knows Best: A Story of Munchausen by Proxy and Murder, airs on Dr. Phil Nov. 21 and 22. Check local listings.