The Questions That 'Mommy Dead And Dearest' Didn't Answer

by Ashley Rey

The terrible tale of Gypsy Rose Blanchard has finally been pieced together in a HBO documentary, and folks can't get enough. Mommy Dead and Dearest is said to be one of the creepiest true crime stories you'll ever feast your eyes on. And after watching it myself, I have to agree. It was one heck of a thriller, and revealed the pieces of a sad reality that I wouldn't dare wish on my worst enemy. However, while extremely informative, the doc left me with a ton of unanswered questions about the ins and outs of the Blanchard story that I'm sure I'm not the only one pondering. And so, I've shared the seven things Mommy Dead and Dearest didn't reveal about Gypsy Rose's story, below.

In case you're unfamiliar, MDAD is the story of Clauddine "Dee Dee" Blanchard's documented abuse of her daughter Gypsy Rose. Pretty much, Dee Dee lied about everything from Gypsy Rose's actual age to her mental and physical health for years. And because her claims went uncontested by the many doctors and hospitals caring for Gypsy Rose, she was subjected to multiple unwarranted surgeries — including inserting a feeding tube. Fed up with years of torment, Gypsy Rose and her estranged boyfriend carried out a plan to violently attack and murder Dee Dee. And today, are both serving time in prison for the crime.

It's a heart-wrenching story, with a tragic ending, but in spite of having a ton of information at my disposal, I'm still desperate to know more.


What is Gypsy Rose's current mental health state?


Throughout the documentary, family members and doctors used "must've" and "probably" when talking about potential mental health diagnoses of Gypsy Rose, but no one seemed to have anything pegged. With everything that she's been through, it's clear that Gypsy Rose had a false sense of reality and, maybe even, a severe case of PTSD. Anything else, remains to be seen.


Should all of the doctors and/or hospitals involved be held accountable for not speaking up?


It's pretty evident that the system ultimately failed Gypsy Rose. In the doc, it's said that physicians had their suspicions that Dee Dee's medical claims about her daughter weren't exactly true. But after years of false diagnoses and medicated induced illnesses, no one seemed to speak up. According to the film, Gypsy Rose's neurologist kept record of his suspicions toward Dee Dee, and even suggested that she could have been experiencing cases of Munchausen by proxy. However, he didn't feel like his claims were enough to expose the whole operation formally.

I can only hope that if one had spoken, it would have lead to social services investigating the Blanchard's case, and Gypsy Rose being removed from her mother's care.


When did Gypsy Rose realize she wasn't actually ill?


Dee Dee brainwashed her daughter into believing that her health was suffering beyond measure, but the moment when Gypsy Rose realized all of her illnesses were exaggerated by her mother was never made clear. It remains to be seen whether Gypsy had a feeling that her health wasn't necessarily failing on its own prior to the events that led to Dee Dee's death, and it's one huge question that the documentary didn't answer.


Why was Dee Dee Gypsy Rose's caregiver instead of her father?


You'd wonder why, with Dee Dee having such a fraudulent wrap sheet — including writing bad checks, shoplifting, allegedly poisoning a family member, and allegedly starving her own mother to death — Gypsy Rose's father didn't fight for custody of her. While it seems that Gypsy and her dad had a distant relationship in the documentary, you'd think there were enough red flags that would raise concern regarding Dee Dee's caregiving.


Is there an official record of Dee Dee's mental health history?

Bipolar disorder, having multiple personalities, and, of course, Munchausen by proxy, are just a few mental health diseases family members and doctors used to label Dee Dee's behavior on a whim, but I can't help but wonder if she was formally diagnosed with any one in particular.


Why didn't anyone look into Dee Dee's claims?


She was a known con artist — the proof was definitely in the pudding. Yet still, no one seemed to be ballsy enough to confront her, even if there were doctors along the way that were suspicious of her handling of her daughter's health.


What are Gypsy Rose's plans upon her release?


In 2016, Gypsy Rose was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison — with the requirement of serving 85 percent of her time before being eligible for parole in 2024. Family members seem to have a lot of understanding for the entire situation, but are they sympathetic enough to help Gypsy Rose rebuild her life once released?

And although hindsight is always 20/20, there are still so many unanswered questions about this dreadful nightmare.