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Fact Checking 'The Act' Episode 6 : Dee Dee Blanchard and Gypsy Rose’s Complicated Relationships With Mothers

By Kate Hudson | Streaming | April 19, 2019 |

By Kate Hudson | Streaming | April 19, 2019 |


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The Act is headed into the homestretch— there are just two episodes of the series left, and mercifully the murder of Dee Dee Blanchard was done off-screen in episode 6.

(Also, see the fact-checking for episodes 1-2, episode 3, episode 4, episode 5, and what the Real Gypsy Rose and Dee Dee Blanchard (and Others) Look Like)

As it stands, Gypsy Rose and Nicholas Godejohn are trying to get to his home in Big Bend, Wisconsin, and Dee Dee’s body hasn’t been discovered yet. This was an interesting episode because it went back in time to demonstrate what Dee Dee’s relationship was like with her own mother, however, many liberties were taken with that, which I’ll get into below, but I’m sure the question you most want to be answered first, is:

Did Gypsy Rose and Nicholas Really Make a Sex Tape After Murdering Dee Dee?

Yes. You can see snippets of it in the HBO documentary Mommy Dead and Dearest, but the scene in The Act was an almost perfect recreation of what is publicly available of the tape. You can see a portion of it here, in a Dr. Phil interview with Gypsy Rose (Semi-NSFW warning. No explicit images are shown, but you can hear Gypsy Rose intimate that Nicholas is about to perform oral sex on her):

Did Nicholas Godejohn stab Dee Dee in her bedroom, while she slept?

Yes. According to Gypsy Rose per ABC News, Nicholas came to the door of the Blanchard home after Dee Dee was asleep, Gypsy Rose let him in, showed him where Dee Dee’s room was, and then waited for him in the bathroom while he stabbed Dee Dee to death—Gypsy Rose was shaving her legs as the murder happened. According to Gypsy Rose, Dee Dee was startled awake and cried out for Gypsy Rose a few times, and then it was silent. The couple had sex in Gypsy Rose’s bed, Gypsy Rose took thousands of dollars of her mother’s cash and then the two took a taxi to Nicholas’ hotel.

You can read Nicholas’ account of the murder reported via The Springfield News-Leader here.

In The Act, Gypsy Rose is Convinced She’s About to Get Caught After Dee Dee’s Murder—Is that Accurate?

No. According to Gypsy Rose, after the murders, she thought she was in the clear. Per ABC News:

For several days, Gypsy and Godejohn enjoyed life together. They were caught on surveillance cameras around Springfield, and shopping at Wal-Mart, seemingly without a care or worry on their minds.

“That never crossed my mind. I honestly didn’t think we were going to get caught,” Gypsy said.

Did Gypsy Rose and Nicholas Really Mail the Murder Weapon to Themselves?

Yes. This is covered in Mommy Dead and Dearest. They mailed the murder weapon to Nicholas Godejohn’s house.

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OK, what about Dee Dee and Her Own Mom?

This is where The Act veers dramatically from real life.

According to Dee Dee’s father and stepmother, per Mommy Dead and Dearest, Dee Dee and her mom were very similar. Emma Pitre, Dee Dee’s mother, was a shoplifter and grifter like Dee Dee, both of whom were arrested at various points in their lives. Per Dee Dee’s stepmother, Emma would go to a laundromat and steal people’s clothes.

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Additionally, Emma stole “$3000 or $4000” from her future father-in-law before she married Dee Dee’s father.

Dee Dee was Emma’s favored child, according to InTouch Weekly, who interviewed Blanchard family friend Fancy Macelli:

Instead, Fancy clarifies that Dee Dee and Emma “were very close. Dee Dee was the favorite child and it was obvious.” According to the family, “It was more of an alliance between Emma and Dee Dee to garner sympathy for Dee Dee all her life. She was treated very differently than the other siblings by both her father and her mother. … They do believe that Emma displayed similar issues [to Dee Dee’s Munchausen syndrome by proxy], but nowhere to the extent that Dee Dee took it to. It was more of the fact that Emma doted on Dee Dee and made her be different and favored from [her other five children]. She did claim Dee Dee was sick a lot and told the kids to be quiet because she needed her rest. But they felt like that was so Dee Dee could do what she wanted and not have to do the things they had to do like chores.”

Finally, Dee Dee is suspected by her family of murdering her mother. She reportedly starved Emma and left her in her own filth, which her family believes resulted in her death.

What Else did They Leave Out About Dee Dee’s Past?

Dee Dee allegedly poisoned her stepmother, repeatedly, which left her stepmother bed-ridden for almost a year. This incident was related by both her stepmother and father in Mommy Dead and Dearest.

When Did Dee Dee Start Insisting Gypsy Rose was Sick?

Dee Dee was obsessed with Gypsy’s health from practically birth, however, doctors could find nothing medically wrong with Gypsy as a baby. Per Inside Edition:

But at only a few months old, Gypsy became a mainstay at the local hospital. Dee Dee said she believed Gypsy stopped breathing in the night because she suffered from sleep apnea, but Rod recalled to BuzzFeed that doctors found nothing wrong with their daughter.

Was Gypsy Rose Diagnosed as a Baby With Having ‘Failure to Thrive’ like in The Act?

No. That didn’t happen, per Intouch Weekly and family friend, Fancy Macelli.

When did Gypsy Rose get Permanently Confined to a Wheelchair by Dee Dee?

In The Act, it’s a fall from a trampoline with her cousins that causes Dee Dee to insist that Gypsy Rose now needed a wheelchair, however, in real life, it was much different. Per Inside Edition:

When she was about 7, Gypsy suffered a cut to her knee while riding on her grandfather’s motorcycle.

Though her family said she appeared able to walk, Dee Dee insisted she would need surgery and from then, her daughter was confined to a wheelchair.

Additionally, Gypsy Rose’s first wheelchair was not the newly deceased Emma’s as The Act portrayed.

Where is Dee Dee Buried?

Per her father and stepmother via Mommy Dead and Dearest, Dee Dee was cremated and her ashes were flushed down the toilet.

We’ll be back next week to fact check what happened in the aftermath of Dee Dee’s murder, and the subsequent arrest of Gypsy Rose and Nicholas Godejohn.



Kate is a staff contributor. You can follow her on Twitter.


Header Image Source: Hulu/YouTube


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