True crime documentaries are all the rage these days, and it seems that each new one that emerges makes an attempt to be more disturbing than the last. The newest entry in the genre, HBO's Mommy Dead and Dearest, will be pretty difficult to top in that regard. The film, about the relationship between Gypsy Rose Blancharde and her mother Dee Dee, is unbelievably disturbing on a number of levels. And there are several photos of Gypsy Rose and Dee Dee Blancharde that really drive home just how awful this story truly is.
The film is about 24-year-old Gypsy allegedly orchestrating the murder of her mother, but as the film progresses, it becomes clear this was no ordinary case of matricide. Gypsy was victimized by her mother for her entire life, and made to believe she was sick when she wasn't. Forced to fake having leukemia, epilepsy, and muscular dystrophy, Gyspy was made to use unnecessary medications, a feeding tube, and a wheelchair, and was constantly told she was dying, allegedly in order for Dee Dee to gain sympathy and financial benefits.
When Gypsy eventually realized the truth and desired her freedom, she reportedly came up with the plot to kill her mother. But despite her confessions to the crime, she received just a 10-year sentence, due to the abuse she received at her mother's hands. When you look at the following images of the mother and daughter, especially the photos where they seem so happy together, it lends this tale an extra level of tragedy.
The one aspect of her "illness" that Gypsy knew was bogus was her supposed inability to walk, and she would sometimes walk around her bedroom at night — but never in front of her mother.
2The Feeding Tube
Gypsy was forced to use a painful feeding tube that also fed her unneeded medications.
Gypsy's mother was her best friend, due to the fact that she was isolated from associating with anyone else.
Gypsy and Dee Dee's entire life was a lie.
5The Medical Staff
Doctors and nurses were unwitting accomplices in Dee Dee's scheme, performing surgeries and prescribing medicines that ultimately weren't needed.
Gypsy loved Disney, and Dee Dee managed to swindle a free trip to Walt Disney World because of her daughter's fake illness.
7Older Than She Looks
Gypsy was prevented from knowing her actual age, and often acted 10 years younger than she was.
This family was never going to live happily ever after, despite outward appearances.
Dee Dee also managed to get free housing, and this picture shows the sheer amount of people who dedicated their time toward helping someone based on a lie.
10The Ideal Mother & Daughter
To any casual observer — and even to those closest to them — Gypsy and Dee Dee appeared to have the ideal mother-daughter relationship.
11Gypsy's Feigned Happiness
Gypsy smiles broadly in practically every picture ever taken of her.
Dee Dee began her deception when Gypsy was only months old.
13Gypsy Suffered Immeasurably
It's impossible to imagine living the life that Gypsy did.