Nicholas Godejohn met Gypsy Rose Blanchard on a Christian dating site. Soon after their first few meetings in person, she asked him to murder her overbearing mother — which he did.
Nicholas Godejohn was just 26 years old when he committed his first and only murder. It started when he began an ultimately short-lived relationship with the young, seemingly wheelchair-bound Gypsy Rose Blanchard, which soon led to him killing her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, in a strange tale that has since become infamous.
But even before the bizarre 2015 homicide recently portrayed in Hulu’s The Act, Nicholas Godejohn was already wading into troubled waters. The then-23-year-old Wisconsin man had a history of mental illness and a criminal record for indecent exposure when he and Gypsy met on the internet. It only took a few months for their nightly virtual bonding sessions to turn into a face-to-face meeting.
It was after this initial meeting in 2012 that the two had sex and began to plot the murder of Gypsy’s mother, Dee Dee.
Then on a night in mid-June 2015, the grisly plot came to fruition. Gypsy left the front door unlocked for Nicholas Godejohn to enter undetected while Dee Dee Blanchard was asleep. While her daughter listened from the bathroom, Godejohn stabbed the 47-year-old to death.
Gypsy Rose Blanchard, A Victim Of Munchausen
Gypsy Rose Blanchard was born in 1991 and raised entirely by her mother Dee Dee because her young father had abandoned them. He told Dee Dee that he didn’t love her and that he “got married for the wrong reasons.”
When Gypsy Rose was three months old, her mother told doctors that the infant had trouble breathing normally. According to The Guardian, Gypsy was subsequently diagnosed with sleep apnea and given a breathing apparatus — the first of many false ailments Dee Dee attributed her daughter.
Whether or not she was conscious of her glaring Munchausen syndrome — an illness that reveals itself in a parent’s unnecessary focus on the non-existent health issues of their children — Dee Dee was adamant that her daughter needed a wheelchair.
Gypsy Rose was seven years old when her mother told the extended family about this supposed chromosomal disorder that limited the child’s motion and kept her dependent on her mother. Eventually, Dee Dee installed a feeding tube into her daughter’s wheelchair; Gypsy had somehow lost a tremendous amount of weight.
The health issues not only continued but ramped up dramatically when Gypsy was diagnosed with epilepsy and prescribed Tegretol, which resulted in the girl’s teeth falling apart. Dee Dee’s initially unfounded concerns had started to fulfill themselves, with Gypsy’s grandparents uncertain if their granddaughter would even survive into adulthood.
After Hurricane Katrina forced the Blanchards to move from Louisiana to Missouri, Dee Dee added an “e” to Blanchard in an attempt to wipe the slate clean. Gypsy and her mother became the best of friends, according to what the neighbors observed.
Of course, the fact that Gypsy and Dee Dee were closer than ever and inseparable was quite literally true due to the child’s ingrained belief that she couldn’t physically move independently. Soon enough, Dee Dee began contacting media outlets, eager to become the woman who symbolized faith, positivity, and resilience for all mothers of the world.
This actually worked — Gypsy was crowned queen at a local Mardi Gras parade, was gifted paid trips to Walt Disney World, and given backstage passes to a Miranda Lambert concert. The singer even sent Dee Dee numerous checks totaling $6,000 to help the poor mother with her sick child.
Then in 2013 when Gypsy Rose was 22 years old, she took to the internet to find like-minded people of her age. She created a profile on Christiandatingforfree.com and soon met Nicholas Godejohn.
Enter Nicholas Godejohn
Though Gypsy Rose made sure to tell Nicholas Godejohn that she was wheelchair-bound, the 23-year-old insisted that he found her “pure.” The pair believed that they had found “true love” after only a few online conversations. Then the virtual relationship deepened. Nicholas Godejohn and Gypsy Rose decided to share a private Facebook page where the two could post messages for one another without Dee Dee knowing.
Godejohn wasn’t without baggage. He had a criminal record for indecent exposure and a history of mental illness. He told Gypsy that she must be “respectful” of him at all times and to capitalize his name. But Gypsy also had some secrets that she divulged to Godejohn.
She told him that there was nothing wrong with her, that she didn’t need a wheelchair, and that her mother forced her to use one. She could walk perfectly, but nobody knew this and it had to remain a secret.
As Gypsy and Godejohn grew closer, her secret allowed for her to have a relationship unlike any other she’d ever had. When his efforts to set a face-to-face meeting intensified, Gypsy, though incredibly anxious about the meeting, relented. The two met for the first time at a Missouri movie theater in 2015 during an outing with Gypsy, her mother, and Godejohn. Gypsy took a bathroom break which was merely an excuse for her to meet Godejohn in the restroom and have sex.
But the secret meeting was easily discovered by Dee Dee who immediately forbade Nicholas Godejohn and Gypsy from ever meeting again.
The Murder Of Dee Dee Blanchard
Dee Dee Blanchard’s body was found on June 14, 2015. The overbearing mother was lying in a pool of her own blood, facedown, on the floor of her pink bedroom. She’d been stabbed to death and covered by a blanket. She had been there for several days.
Godejohn and Gypsy’s shared Facebook status, meanwhile, publicly betrayed gleeful knowledge of the events that led to the mother’s death.
“THAT BITCH IS DEAD,” it read. The comments section presented further details.
“I fucken SLASHED THAT FAT PIG AND RAPED HER SWEET INNOCENT DAUGHTER…HER SCREAM WAS SOOOO FUCKEN LOUD LOL.”
The Facebook messages used to plan the finer details have since become public as a result of the court proceedings that would later land both Godejohn and Blanchard in prison. When friends and family saw the status online, they took it upon themselves to investigate. It was then that Dee Dee Blanchard’s body was found.
Gypsy told reporter Erin Lee Carr that after the incident at the movie theater, her mother’s cruelty increased. According to Gypsy, she felt helpless and angry and this caused her to help carry out her mother’s murder.
“I couldn’t just jump out of the wheelchair because I was afraid and I didn’t know what my mother would do,” Gypsy said, according to People. “I didn’t have anyone to trust.”
It was after the incident at the movie theater that she believed only Godejohn could help her and asked him, “Would you kill my mother for me?”
Godejohn committed to the act quite easily, by all accounts.
Plan B, as the couple called it, took place on June 12, 2015, and it was extremely gory.
Gypsy’s version of events had Nicholas Godejohn enter the pink house that the Habitat for Humanity charity had built for her and her mother. Gypsy provided Godejohn with a pair of blue gloves and a large serrated knife.
Godejohn then commanded his girlfriend to “get your ass to the bathroom” via text message and Gypsy complied. As she sat on the bathroom floor, naked, she could overhear Godejohn stab her mother to death — with the screams permeating the walls.
Life Behind Bars For Nicholas Godejohn
The duo’s exit strategy was primitive and doomed to fail. They fled to Wisconsin where they planned to start a new life at Godejohn’s parents’ house but Gypsy started to worry about her mother’s decomposing body.
Hoping authorities would find her mother and not trace the murder back to her and Godejohn, she posted the fact that Dee Dee Blanchard was dead on their shared Facebook page. Gypsy assumed the police would think a random criminal had done the deed but that obviously wasn’t the case.
Police traced the post back to Big Bend, Wisconsin, where they quickly found Gypsy Rose Blanchard and Nicholas Godejohn. Both were arrested for murder.
Nicholas Godejohn pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder but received a life sentence after being found guilty. Gypsy did plead guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Her sentence will come to an end in 2026 and she will be eligible for parole in 2024. Godejohn’s prison term, however, isn’t eligible for parole, according to News.au.
“Nick was so in love with her and so obsessed with her that he would do anything,” said Godejohn’s lawyer, Dewayne Perry, in his closing arguments in November 2018. “And Gypsy knew that.” He also described the killer as a “low-functioning person with autism” incapable of truly and consciously deciding to commit murder.
The trial did see several psychologists support Perry’s argument that his client did indeed have the disorder and should’ve perhaps received a trial to accommodate that. In the end, though, Greene County prosecutor Dan Patterson argued that Nicholas Godejohn was mentally sound enough to weigh his options — pointing to the fact that the defendant waited outside the victim’s bedroom for a minute to make his decision — and that he was primarily motivated by sex.
Patterson also said Nicholas Godejohn’s T-shirt, emblazoned with “evil clowns,” was worn deliberately to scare Gypsy’s mother before her murder. While that particular claim wasn’t itself incriminating in terms of his intent to murder, the fact that Nicholas Godejohn and Gypsy Rose Blanchard discussed the crime for at least an entire year prior certainly was.
Nicholas Godejohn’s first and last murder has since been turned into Hulu’s The Act, starring Patricia Arquette as Dee Dee Blanchard and Joey King as Gypsy Rose. Canadian actor Calum Worthy portrays Godejohn.
While the production is sure to take a few creative liberties with the real-life material, the foundation certainly seems faithful to the truth.
According to Newsweek, Dee Dee Blanchard’s family is none too pleased with the fact that the show will, in their view, play fast and loose with their lives. This isn’t the first time the killing of Dee Dee Blanchard will have been adapted for the screen, as HBO’s 2017 documentary, Mommy Dead and Dearest, got there first.
Nonetheless, Gypsy Rose’s cousin Bobby Pitre revealed that “Dee Dee’s sisters think it’s pretty fucked up. They hate all of it. They don’t know why people keep making stories about it.”
While the victim’s sisters think it’s “time to leave it alone,” it’s no mystery why people have become so obsessively fascinated with the case.
In a post-Serial world where true crime reigns supreme, the story of a little girl who was essentially held captive, told she was sick her whole life, but that managed to escape, no matter how murderously, enthralls millions.
For Godejohn, according to the Springfield News-Leader, the motivation to kill never changed.
“I was blindly in love,” he said at the sentencing hearing in February. “That was always very much the case.”
Godejohn’s attorney motioned for a new trial at that hearing based on the argument that his client was in a diminished mental capacity during the crime and that the state’s psychologist shouldn’t have been able to provide contradictory testimony at the original trial.
While Judge Jones denied the motion, he did agree that this argument could be of interest to a higher, different court in the future, as Godejohn’s case moves through the process of appeals.
Nonetheless, Nicholas Godejohn will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
After reading the story of Nicholas Godejohn, the man who killed Dee Dee Blanchard in her sleep, learn about Rodney Alcala, the serial killer who won The Dating Game during his killing spree. Then, read up on Carl Panzram, possibly the most cold-blooded serial killer in history.