Gypsy Rose Blanchard–the subject of Hulu’s true crime drama The Act–has apparently found love while serving time for her mother’s murder.
On Thursday, we found out that 27-year-old Blanchard is engaged to marry a man she met through a prison pen pal program.
If you haven’t seen The Act, here’s the short version of the story: Gypsy’s mother, Dee Dee, convinced everyone that her daughter had leukemia, muscular dystrophy, and seizures, as well as mental, visual, and hearing impairment.
She was brought up believing herself to be seriously ill, but as Gypsy grew older, she started to suspect that something else was going on. “There are certain illnesses I knew I didn’t have. I knew I didn’t need the feeding tube; I knew that I could eat. And I knew that I could walk,” she told 20/20.
Eventually, the 23-year-old Gypsy met a man named Nicholas Godejohn online. The two developed an intense relationship, and eventually, she convinced him to murder her mother so that Gypsy could escape.
She plead guilty to second-degree murder and serving a 10-year prison sentence. She’ll be eligible for parole as early as 2023. Her boyfriend–who committed the actual killing–was convicted of first-degree murder and will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Her stepmother, Kristy Blanchard, told reporters that Gypsy is happier in prison than she ever was at home. “[I]f she had a choice to either be in jail, or back with her mom, she would rather be in jail. For Gypsy, it’s a lot of freedom.”
That freedom includes being able to date. Gypsy and her fiance began writing each other letters, and then he visited her in prison. Her fiance has reportedly communicated with Gypsy’s father and stepmom as well through email and phone calls. Gypsy herself talks to him several times a week.
Her friend Fancy Macelli (what an amazing name!) told In Touch that “They just grew to have a relationship. … They’re taking it slow. They don’t know exactly what they’re going to do when she gets out. It’s a long way down the road, obviously, so things can change.”
It’s possible that these unlikely lovebirds might get to be together sooner than they expect. More than 50,000 people have signed a petition to free Gypsy Rose Blanchard from prison.
Her father, Rod Blanchard, started the petition 2 years ago, but the popularity of The Act has given her case a major profile boost. He claims that Gypsy was a victim and that the murder was, in a sense, self-defense.