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Gypsy Rose Blanchard Is Pregnant, Expecting First Child With Ken Urker


Gypsy Rose Blanchard, who was convicted of helping murder her abusive mother in a highly publicized case, announced in a tearful YouTube video Tuesday that she and her boyfriend, Ken Urker, are expecting their first child.

“I want to be everything my mother wasn’t,” Ms. Blanchard, 32, said. ClipShe described the pregnancy as “a blessing”. She said the baby was due in January.

In 2016, Ms. Blanchard Sentenced to 10 years in prison — the minimum sentence for second-degree murder — under a plea agreement that included acknowledging an abusive relationship with her mother. After serving nearly seven years of her sentence, she was released in December and has since gained millions of followers on social media, where she has documented her personal life, including her marriage to Ryan Anderson and her relationship with Mr. Urker. (Ms. Blanchard filed for divorce from Mr. Anderson in April.)

Ms. Blanchard’s childhood, trial and life after prison were discussed in an HBO documentary in 2017 and a Hulu miniseries in 2019, which put her in the national spotlight. (Both programs depicted her as a victim of Munchausen syndrome by proxy — a form of abuse in which a parent feigns illness for the child.) More recently, Ms. Blanchard has starred in her own series on Lifetime, “Gypsy Rose: Life After Lock Up.”

Ms. Blanchard has dismissed some of the public fascination with her life. This week, she called out a TikTok user who posted a video from the house in Springfield, Missouri, where her then-boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn, stabbed her mother to death in 2015. Although Ms. Blanchard no longer lives in that house, some social media users have filmed themselves walking past it in recent months and stopping to look at it.

In the video, the user films the house while driving by and points to multiple “No Trespassing” signs in the yard. “People came out,” the user wrote in the on-screen caption, referring to the home's apparent residents. (The TikTok poster did not respond to a request for comment.)

Ms Blanchard slammed the user in a comment. “You guys have no respect or decency,” she wrote. “A tragedy happened in that house, yet you guys look at it like it's the Grand Canyon.”

In an emailed response to questions, Ms. Blanchard wrote that the house “holds many negative memories” for her and that she feels “uncomfortable” seeing visitors “glamorize” the place.

“I recognize that sharing my story so openly generates interest in my case and life, but what I experienced in that house was very real and very traumatic,” Ms. Blanchard added. “It brings up a lot of difficult feelings when people see it as a tourist attraction when they pass through Springfield.”

He asked people to leave the house and the new occupants alone.

Other TikTok users have posted similar clips. In one video, a man standing outside the house yells, “This is not a tourist attraction, why are you filming our house?” In another video posted in December, two women filmed themselves “ghost hunting” along the property.

Helen Brake, a neighbor who lives on a nearby street, said in a phone interview that she is disgusted by the regular people who are there.

“I think it’s horrible,” said Ms. Brake, who has lived in the area for 12 years. “You’d have to be a ghost to do that.”

The house had been repainted since Ms. Blanchard and her mother lived there, she said. Once, when her mother told Ms. Brake she was having a hard time finding a dress for her daughter, she offered to make one for Ms. Blanchard, Ms. Brake said.

“There are new owners. The house has been painted. They've changed the address. Still, they come out,” Ms. Brake said. “It's sad. I guess some people just don't have anything better to do.”

Scenes of gruesome events have long fascinated and aroused curiosity, said David Schmid, an associate professor of English at the University at Buffalo who researches crime and popular culture. He cited a 19th-century example in which so many people flocked to see the excavated basement of serial killer H.H. Holmes that officials worried the sidewalk might collapse.

Dr. Schmid described the cultural obsession with Ms. Blanchard, including visitors to her former home, as a result of “natural human curiosity about the extremes of human behavior.” That curiosity, however, becomes “problematic” when it elevates either a perpetrator or victim to celebrity status, he said.

“Once they achieve celebrity status, society starts to ignore their private lives, their private rights,” he added. “Instead, the celebrity's life becomes public property in a way. We don't think it's improper to do such things because we feel that in a way the celebrity is ours.”

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