The Devil’s Advocate

The Student News Site of Lodi High School

The Devil’s Advocate

The Devil’s Advocate

Meet the Staff

Madeline Deleon is currently a freshman at Lodi High School. It is her second semester with the staff. She works on broadcast, newspaper, and yearbook.

Keyton Lord is a junior at Lodi High School. This is his first year taking this class.

A Stolen Childhood

The Story of Gypsy Rose
Image+taken+by+creative+commons+via+rawpixel.com
rawpixel.com
Image taken by creative commons via rawpixel.com

Gypsy Rose Blanchard, now 32, was recently released after serving eight years for her role in the murder of her mother, a case that captivated the nation due to its tragic and complex circumstances.

Gypsy’s early life, as diagnosed by medical experts, was overshadowed by the influence of her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, who suffered from Munchausen by proxy. This disorder led Dee Dee to fabricate or induce illnesses in Gypsy, subjecting her to unnecessary medical treatments, including a feeding tube.

Munchausen syndrome is a mental disorder in which a person repeatedly acts as if they have a physical or mental illness when they are not sick. They do this to gain attention and sympathy from others. Munchausen by proxy, a related disorder, occurs when a caregiver fabricates or induces illness in the person they’re looking after—often a child—to receive attention from medical professionals, friends, and family.

This condition is not only a form of severe psychological abuse but also leads to physical harm due to the unnecessary medical interventions the victim undergoes. Victims of Munchausen by proxy can suffer from invasive procedures, long-term medication use, and even surgical operations they don’t need. The long-term effects of such abuse can be devastating, with psychological trauma that can last a lifetime.

Story continues below advertisement

Legal consequences for perpetrators of Munchausen by proxy can be severe, as this form of abuse can lead to serious injury or even death. Cases like that of Gypsy Rose Blanchard highlight the grave consequences when Munchausen by proxy goes undetected and the victim is pushed to desperate measures.

Despite numerous consultations with pediatricians and oncologists who found no evidence of illnesses like leukemia, Dee Dee continued to claim her daughter was severely ill, even forcing Gypsy to shave her head to mimic the effects of chemotherapy.

It was through the internet that Gypsy connected with Nicholas Godejohn. They formed a relationship, and eventually, Gypsy confided in him about her life. Court documents reveal that they plotted to end Dee Dee’s life, a plan that culminated in a brutal crime that would reveal the extent of the deception and abuse Gypsy endured.

In June 2015, after a concerning Facebook post prompted a welfare check, police discovered Dee Dee Blanchard’s body. Nicholas Godejohn was taken into custody, where he stated to the police, “I wanted to make sure her mom was not going to harm her anymore. I made sure of that.”

The trial that followed saw Gypsy Blanchard convicted of second-degree murder and Godejohn of first-degree murder, leaving the public grappling with a case where victimhood and culpability were inextricably intertwined.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Addison Woolley
Addison Woolley, Social Media Manager
Addison Woolley is a junior at Lodi High School for the 2023-24 school year. She has been a part of the publications class for two years and plans on continuing until she graduates. She is currently working with the broadcast and hopes to build up the social media team.