Do you consider your Facebook friends to be real friends? If the answer is yes, then you might consider the bizarre details unraveling in a "tragic" case "surrounded by mystery and public deception" to be a cautionary tale.
On June 14, when the message "That bi*ch is dead!" appeared on a Facebook page shared by a mother and her disabled daughter, their Facebook friends at first assumed the "Dee Gyp Blancharde" account had been hacked. But their friends started to freak out after another message from the account appeared in the comments, a message with vulgar language mentioning "slashed that fat pig and raped her sweet innocent daughter."
Friends called but no one answered either phone. A Facebook friend went to the house, which is north of Springfield, Missouri; the mother's car was there but no one answered the door. The post was reported to Facebook and the local police were involved. Facebook friends started a prayer page for 48 year-old Clauddinnea "Dee Dee" Blancharde and her (supposedly) 19-year-old daughter, Gypsy Blancharde.
The police found the mother dead in her bed, having been "violently murdered" from being repeatedly stabbed. The daughter was missing and Gypsy was considered wheelchair-bound because of leukemia and muscular dystrophy. Other Facebook friends talked about knowing the mother and daughter in person and how "sweet" they were.
On June 15, police traced the Facebook post to a house in Big Bend, Wisconsin. At this point, this cautionary tale takes a bizarre twist as the "tragic event" is "surrounded by mystery and public deception."
On June 16, Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott started a press conference by cautioning people against "donating money to this family at this time as we have unearthed the appearance of a long financial fraud scheme along with this tragic event."
For starters, after Gypsy was found in Big Bend in the home of her boyfriend, Sheriff Arnott said, "She can walk without assistance or a wheelchair and she can do that very well." The police were unsure of her age, since she and her mother had used several dates of birth for Gypsy ranging from 19 to 23. In 2008, after the Blanchardes had supposedly moved to Missouri in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and were interviewed about their new Habitat for Humanity House, they listed Gypsy's age as 12. But Sheriff Arnott said it is "unconfirmed" if they were Hurricane Katrina victims at all. In fact, both the mother and daughter's "true background" is "unknown."
According to the probable cause statement posted on KY3, the police determined the Facebook postings were "sent from a location registered to Nicholas Godejohn who lived in Big Bend." Then, after a "brief standoff" with Wisconsin deputies, Gypsy Blancharde and Godejohn and "were detained."
The daughter, who is now being called 23 years old, gave the guy the knife to kill her mother; he told police that "he asked her at one point if she was sure she wanted him to kill Clauddinnea and Gypsy said yes. He admitted he stabbed Clauddinnea several times in the back while he was on top of her holding her down." The probable cause statement added:
The knife he used was given to him by Gypsy. He stated he would not have killed anyone unless Gypsy had asked him to, and this is why he killed Clauddinnea. He mailed the knife to his home address so he would not get caught with it. Nicholas said he went to the bathroom where Gypsy was hiding at to let her know he had cut his finger with the knife while he was stabbing her mother. They both began cleaning up the blood in the hallway. They took several thousand dollars from a safe from inside Clauddinnea's bedroom. Nicholas stated he knew what he had done was wrong, but he did it for Gypsy because she asked him to.
On June 15:
Gypsy admitted she was in the house when her mother was being stabbed, and she could hear her screaming. Gypsy admitted to posting on Facebook the comment, "that — is dead." She posted this because she wanted her mother found quicker by law enforcement. She tried to clean up Nicholas' blood by using baby wipes. After she cleaned up some of the blood she called a Yellow Cab to come and pick her and Nicholas up, and she left the residence in the cab with Nicholas.
Gypsy and Godejohn are both being held on $1 million bond; both are "charged with felony murder in Missouri and could face the death penalty."
12WISN talked to one of Gypsy's cousins who claimed the situation "was a ticking time bomb – a mother using her daughter as a girl suffering with cancer to trick people out of their money. 'She basically brainwashed the poor child'."
This is the same mother and daughter who scammed Habit for Humanity for a home and had their Facebook friends fooled in thinking they were "very nice" and "precious people" who had a "heart of gold." Even friends in real life said the mother was "the nicest lady in the world," and that they couldn't "believe how anybody could even have a bad word to say about her." Another friend said of the fraudster mother, "She gave everything. She gave of herself, she gave of her stuff."
I'm all for acts of kindness, but be careful as scammers are everywhere. Facebook friends can be real friends, but before you start "donating" money or other items to a, online friend, think back to this cautionary tale.
The Facebook post was deleted, but was captured and posted to Imgur.