Imagine growing up thinking you were sick with various illnesses, having to stay in bed and take medicine, practically being denied a childhood for years. Now, imagine that those illnesses weren’t even real, and instead were made up by your mother who was actually the ill one, seeking attention and unneeded help. This was the case for Gypsy Rose Blanchard, a young girl who was falsely diagnosed with multiple sicknesses including leukemia and muscular dystrophy, who had supposedly required a wheelchair and a feeding tube, and never actually knew her real age. Her mother, Dee Dee, was essentially the mastermind behind this string of lies, eventually suffering consequences of being murdered by Gypsy’s online boyfriend.
This is only a brief description of the insanity, though. Gypsy’s story has been written about, reported on and even portrayed through various media outlets. Recently, a miniseries titled “The Act” was released on Hulu as part of a seasonal anthology series that tells stranger-than-fiction true crime stories.
How can a story about a young girl’s fake illnesses be considered “stranger-than-fiction true crime,” one may ask? Well, what ties the whole story together is the fact that Gypsy was found as a suspect in the murder of her mother, Dee Dee, back in 2015. It was around this time that Gypsy had reached adulthood, unknowingly, and had befriended an older man online whom she eventually asked to murder her mother. The man, Nicholas Godejohn, became Gypsy’s boyfriend, and he was willing to do anything to help Gypsy escape the pain and torture she had been suffering for years.
Gypsy and Godejohn planned to murder Dee Dee as soon as they could, but it was Godejohn who actually executed it. He stabbed Dee Dee to death, who was later found in her home after a cryptic message made by Godejohn was posted on Facebook, indicating that she was in fact dead.
Because of Gypsy’s involvement with Godejohn, she in turn became a suspect in the case, leading her to appear in court for various trials and hearings, trying to piece together any back stories or motives that resulted in the death of her mother. This is what is explored in the initial episodes of “The Act.”
The miniseries premiered on March 20, but episodes are still being released on Hulu every Wednesday night. The first season focuses on the backstory of Dee Dee’s murder, giving some of the previously mentioned details about the reasons for which she was killed. Be sure to follow the series on Hulu if you’re into shows that’ll put you on the edge of your seat!