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The Oarsman

Student Run News Site of Venice High School

The Oarsman

Student Run News Site of Venice High School

The Oarsman

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Gypsy Rose Blanchard Is Out Of Jail; Now What About Nicholas Godejohn?

Chances are, you’ve heard the story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard. Even if you don’t know her name, you know her story.

I remember walking into my living room to my mom watching a Dateline episode explaining Gypsy’s story. Curious, I asked my mother, and though she was hesitant to tell me, she revealed her story. I was horrified. 

Gypsy Rose Blanchard, was a young woman who was convinced by her mother, Clauddine Blanchard, to have all kinds of severe illnesses ranging from asthma to muscular dysphoria to cancer. Her mother had been known to have bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Due to this, and her controlling personality, she made it her mission to convince Gypsy and all those around her that she was unable to function because of all the disorders she did not have.  

Gypsy’s childhood was prolonged as her mother kept lowering her age, forging her birth certificate, in order to make it appear she was younger then she really was. It was an extremely difficult time for Gypsy Rose, with a constant onslaught of psychological and physical abuse.

She was home-schooled, and constantly isolated from people her age. Clauddine forced her to eat through a feeding tube, shaving her head to give her the appearance that she had just undergone chemotherapy. Without explaining every abusive behavior and action Clauddine forced upon Gypsy, it’s important to realize just how abused Gypsy had been by the hands of her mother. 

As Gypsy grew she was able to realize that on some level, her mother had been lying to her about her entire life. And soon, she was finally able to do something about it. 

Gypsy’s boyfriend whom she met through the internet, Nicholas Godejohn, entered their home on June 9, 2015, and proceeded to kill Clauddine Blanchard, with Gypsy just a room away. He claimed later that Gypsy convinced him to do it. She and her then boyfriend were convicted. 

Nicholas Godejohn is currently serving a life sentence, while Gypsy was released December 23 last year. 

Her release has been long awaited, as her story gained a lot of media attention and sympathy from the public. Her story became famous, and she became somewhat of a celebrity. Finally free to live, away from the shackles of Clauddine Blanchard, living with her now husband Ryan Scott Anderson.

I was personally glad for Gypsy, as the crime committed was done so in order to save her from a horrible situation. All this being said, there is an important detail that people often overlook. His name: Nicholas Godejohn.

All the attention goes to Gypsy, which is understandable. This very article is titled “Gypsy Rose Blanchard.” However, practically no attention goes to Godejohn. 

When I heard of Gypsy’s release date, I wondered what was to come of Godejohn. Though he is the one who held the knife, Gypsy had been the one to put it in her hand and point. Godejohn himself suffered from mental illness, and when the time came to confess, he willingly confessed to the crime. Despite this, he is receiving a life sentence with no chance of parole. I found this baffling, as he did what he did for Gypsy and despite them committing practically the same crime there was no sympathy in his sentencing, as opposed to the tsunami of support that came for Gypsy. 

Gypsy Rose was desperate to escape, and in doing so convinced Godejohn to carry out her plan in order to kill her mother. I don’t believe Godejohn should be released from prison, but I do absolutely hold the belief that his sentence should be reduced, and should be given the chance of parole. 

I did research, and found those with similar beliefs as me, going as far as finding a petition online demanding for his reduced sentence. The petition so far has 13,779 signatures.

Circling back to the crux of the story: Gypsy Rose Blanchard. In writing this article, I found myself wondering what it was about her story that was so fascinating. Obviously, her story is morbid, showcasing some of the worst aspects in our society, and people love that. 

People love hearing stories that make their stomachs turn and their jaws drop. People love hearing about stories that are so outrageously disturbing, so much so that it makes them thrilling. The fact that stories like Gypsy’s are happening in our society fascinates us, bringing a little morbid excitement into our lives. It’s why there are shows, movies and podcasts, all dedicated to telling us about the more horrific crimes committed, we’re hungry for those stories. 

Gypsy story is one of greed and deception. The need for a mother to have sympathy, and her willingness to do anything to hold on to it. It’s the story of a girl, desperate to escape a traumatic relationship, wanting to be rid of it in the most violent way possible. It’s the story of a man, blinded by his love for the girl, asking him to kill. 

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