The murder of Dee Dee Blanchard is a true story more shocking than most crime novelists could dream up.
In the summer of 2015, Dee Dee, of Missouri, US, was killed by her daughter Gypsy Rose Blanchard, a girl everybody believed had severe health problems and the cognitive age of a seven-year-old.
Dee Dee fooled doctors and family members alike into believing Gypsy was sick, driven by Munchausen syndrome by proxy. This is a mental illness whereby a parent or caregiver pretends their child is poorly, often as a bid for sympathy, attention or financial gain.
According to Dee Dee, Gypsy had chromosomal defects and leukaemia as well as epilepsy, hearing loss, sleep apnea and asthma muscular dystrophy. She forced her daughter into using a wheelchair, and shaved her head to give her the appearance of an individual going through chemotherapy.
Gypsy was even subjected to invasive surgical procedures she didn’t even need, including having her salivary glands extracted.
Unbeknown to sympathetic members of the community, Gypsy was a perfectly healthy, mobile young woman with normal mental capabilities. A desperate attempt to escape her mother’s long-term abuse resulted in murder.
Gypsy, who is now 27 years old, was given a ten year prison sentence in July 2016 after being charged with second degree murder. She was spared a life sentence due to the severity of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother.
The disturbing case came to public attention with the harrowing documentary Mommy Dead and Dearest, which delved into the nightmare ordeal of Gypsy’s childhood and teenage years.
View this post on Instagram
My name for the next 4 months, is Gypsy Rose Blanchard. This story is very disturbing and I am honored to be able to portray it. What a wild ride this will be on “The Act” @hulu Link in my bio for the exclusive interview I gave with @allure talking about the decision to shave my head for a 3rd time for a project I’m so ready to take on.
It was only a matter of time before this twisted tale was adapted for a TV series, and Hulu have done just that.
The streaming service have dropped a trailer for The Act, a dramatisation of the shocking events leading up to the murder.
According to the IMDb synopsis the film:`
Follows Gypsy Blanchard, a girl trying to escape the toxic relationship she has with her overprotective mother.
— Meghan O’Keefe (@megsokay) February 11, 2019
— Diane Gordon (@thesurfreport) February 11, 2019
Joey King (The Kissing Booth) will star as Gypsy Rose Blanchard, with Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) portraying Dee Dee Blanchard.
There is way too many complications within this story for a feature film to ever do it justice. A layered, nuanced series is what is needed to finally give those whose lives are affected by Munchausen syndrome by proxy a voice.
You can catch this gripping new series on Hulu from March, 20, 2019.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.