Hulu's The Act dramatizes the fascinating true story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard, who's currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for orchestrating the murder of her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, in 2015. But the series is about much more than murder. In fact, it's more focused on the events leading up to it.
Taking place in Springfield Missouri, The Act picks up seven years before Dee Dee's death, when she and Gypsy had just moved to town. It chronicles Gypsy's childhood with her mother, who experts have determined likely had Munchausen syndrome by proxy, according to Rolling Stone. As Gypsy told ABC, her mother raised her to believe she had a number of illnesses, including muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, leukemia, vision and hearing impairments, and seizures. She also had her use a wheelchair to get around, despite being able to walk, as well as a feeding tube for nutrition and medicine.
Rolling Stone reported that people with Munchausen by proxy often invent illnesses out of a desire for attention or sympathy, and when Gypsy was growing up, she and Dee Dee received ample attention from the local press as well as free trips and gifts from various charities, according to BuzzFeed.
One such gift was the Habitat for Humanity house in Springfield, Missouri that was built for the Blanchards in 2008, per Buzzfeed. According to Habitat for Humanity's website, it works with "qualified, low-income families to help them realize the dream of owning their very own home." BuzzFeed further reports that the house was specifically outfitted with a wheelchair ramp and a special tub to cater to the various disabilities Gypsy's mother said she had.
"We have an awesome bathtub. It's a Jacuzzi tub meant for my muscles. And we have a wonderful ramp," Gypsy Rose said in an interview at the time. In the interview, both the Blanchards were grateful to have their own home there. "I remember my mom had [sic] gave me this little glass house and she said, 'One day this will be real,' and now it finally is," Gypsy said. Dee Dee added, "It's so easy to live here, and it's so peaceful."
It wouldn't be peaceful forever, though, as the home eventually became the place where Dee Dee died. As Rolling Stone reported in another article, Dee Dee was found stabbed to death in the Missouri home in June 2015. Gypsy orchestrated the murder plan and her then-boyfriend Nicholas Godejohn carried out the stabbing while she waited in the bathroom. He was convicted for his role in the crime last November and sentenced to life in prison in February.
According to Missouri inmate files, Gypsy is now 27 years old and located at the Chillicothe Correctional Center, which is about a four hour drive from her former home in Springfield. It's not clear who, if anyone, owns the house now — but it's hard to imagine that Gypsy Rose would want to move back there once she's out of prison. Her Springfield days are just getting started in The Act, but they may be long behind her in real life.