Author of ‘How To Murder Your Husband’ on Trial for… Murdering Her Husband
Nancy Crampton-Brophy is a self-published romance writer, and in 2011 she published the aforementioned piece, which details various motives for and means of killing your spouse.
Seven years later, the 71-year-old was arrested on suspicion of shooting dead her husband of 27 years, Daniel Brophy.
The chef was found dead in the kitchen at the Oregon Culinary Institute, in Portland, on 2 June 2018, with a gunshot wound to his back and another in the chest.
His wife took to Facebook the day after to share the news of his death.
She wrote: “I have sad news to relate. My husband and best friend, Chef Dan Brophy was killed yesterday morning.
“For those of you who are close to me and feel this deserved a phone call, you are right, but I’m struggling to make sense of everything right now.”
Crampton-Brophy was subsequently arrested in September and she pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The trial has been delayed largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but today (Monday 4 April) it is finally set to get under way.
The case has gained notoriety due to Crampton-Brophy’s writing, with the intro of How To Murder Your Husbandreading as follows: “As a romantic suspense writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about murder and, consequently, about police procedure.
“After all, if the murder is supposed to set me free, I certainly don’t want to spend any time in jail. And let me say clearly for the record, I don’t like jumpsuits and orange isn’t my colour.”
Prosecutors allege that she killed her husband in a bid to receive more than $1.5 million (£1.14 million) in life insurance, and her fictional essay listed ‘financial’ as the number one motive for killing your husband.
“Divorce is expensive, and do you really want to split your possessions?” the essay reads.
“Or if you married for money, aren’t you entitled to all of it?
“The draw back is the police aren’t stupid. They are looking at you first. So you have to be organized, ruthless and very clever. Husbands have disappeared from cruise ships before. Why not yours?”
The writer told police that she was at home when her husband was killed, but footage taken near the crime scene showed her driving her minivan in two directions during the hour of his death.
“Although that first shot likely paralyzed Dan Brophy and rendered him immobile, lying on his back, Nancy Brophy then walked over to the helpless victim and shot him again at close range, also piercing the heart and ensuring that Daniel Brophy would die,” prosecutors wrote in a 2020 court filing.