Gypsy Blanchard is asking for people to urge Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and the state parole board to give her an early release from prison.
“I am respectfully asking all who wish me an early release to please aid my father in his efforts for my freedom,” Blanchard wrote in an email released late Tuesday.
She hopes individuals will “write a letter expressing support for my early release to either the Missouri State Governor, Michael L. Parson, and/or the Division of the Missouri State Board of Probation and Parole.”
The 27-year-old, imprisoned for her role in the death of her mother, also wrote, “I am scheduled for a parole hearing in December of 2021. However, any and all letters of support are helpful.”
Dee Dee Blanchard, 48, was killed in June 2015 at the Greene County home she shared with Gypsy.
Franchesca Macelli, a Kentucky-based screenwriter and Blanchard family friend, confirmed that the email was authentic in a message sent to the News-Leader Wednesday afternoon. Macelli said state officials have not yet responded.
Last week, news emerged that Gypsy plans to marry a man she met as a pen pal after she started serving time at Missouri’s Chillicothe Correctional Center.
The News-Leader previously reported that Gypsy must serve at least eight-and-a-half years of her 10-year sentence for second-degree murder before she is eligible for release. She will be 33 years old at that time.
Her former online boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn, stabbed Dee Dee Blanchard to death. He is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder.
Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson told the News-Leader after Gypsy’s July 5, 2016 sentencing hearing that he believed it would have been possible to convict her for first-degree murder.
Such a conviction would have meant a life sentence for Gypsy, but Patterson said after the sentencing that he did not believe that would be fair, due to the years of medical child abuse Gypsy suffered.
Dee Dee Blanchard is thought to have had Munchausen by proxy syndrome, also called factitious disorder or medical child abuse. Gypsy’s attorney at the 2016 trial said, “essentially Gypsy’s mother was holding her a prisoner.”
Family members have said Gypsy was forced by Dee Dee to falsely present medical conditions including leukemia, vision and hearing problems, sleep apnea, developmental disabilities, muscular dystrophy, a chromosome disorder and digestive disorders.
Gypsy is “thriving” and “just looking forward” as she serves her prison time, family and friends say. She works, attends classes, practices photography, and her health has improved. The family, based in Cut Off, Louisiana, says their home community strongly supports Gypsy.
Patterson, the prosecutor, called it “one of the most extraordinary and unusual cases we have seen” at the time of Gypsy’s sentencing.
Gypsy’s father, Rod Blanchard, started a Change.org petition urging an early release for his daughter not long after the sentencing. The petition has gained steam in recent weeks following the release of a fictionalized Hulu TV show about Gypsy and Dee Dee.
Two days ago, a U.K. newspaper reported that the petition had gained 90,000 followers.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Change.org reported that more than 100,000 people had signed the online petition.
“It’s been in the last week that we’ve grown that petition by 60,000 or 70,000 in signatures,” said Macelli, the Blanchard family friend.
Change.org is a San Francisco-based for-profit website founded in 2007, according to Forbes. It is not a part of any level of American government.
Kelli Jones, deputy communications director for Gov. Parson, sent the following statement late Wednesday:
“The Governor believes the executive power of granting clemency should be given careful consideration and utilized with the utmost seriousness. All requests for pardons, commutations, and reprieves are received by our office and properly processed.”
Jones added, “The Governor relies heavily on the recommendations made by the Board of Probation and Parole, which reviews each application, and values the important role they play in the process.”
Gypsy’s outreach to supporters was first reported Tuesday night by InTouch Weekly magazine, one of three news organizations to which the Blanchard family and its spokeswoman, the screenwriter Macelli, have recently said they would release information.
The other two are the News-Leader and Vulture, a culture website published by New York magazine.
The governor’s office and the Department of Corrections list contact information online. InTouch reported that Gypsy urged people to reference her name as “Gypsy Blancharde” and use her inmate number, #1302048, should they choose to contact state officials.
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