Woman who wrote ‘How to Murder Your Husband’ essay is convicted of murdering husband

Chef Daniel Brophy was found dead at the Oregon Culinary Institute on 2 June 2018

Sravasti Dasgupta
Thursday 26 May 2022 06:55
<p>Nancy Brophy during her trial in Portland, Oregon</p>

Nancy Brophy during her trial in Portland, Oregon

Romance novelist Nancy Crampton-Brophy, who once wrote an essay titled “How To Murder Your Husband”, has been convicted of second-degree murder for killing her husband.

Daniel Brophy, a chef, was found dead on 2 June 2018 inside the Oregon Culinary Institute where he worked. The 63-year-old had a gunshot wound in his back and one in his chest.

Crampton-Brophy, now 71, was arrested three months later and charged with his murder. She has remained in prison since then. She will be sentenced on 13 June.

Her trial began on 4 April in Portland. Prosecutors had argued during the case that Crampton-Brophy was motivated by money and a life insurance policy.

But she denied having any reasons to kill her husband. She said that their financial problems had largely been solved by cashing in a chunk of Brophy’s retirement savings plan.

On 18 May, Crampton-Brophy’s cellmate Andrea Jacobs told prosecutors that she had inadvertently disclosed the details of the death of her husband of 26 years.

“She told me that he was shot two times to the heart and that … she showed me the distance,” Ms Jacobs said, while holding out her arms to signify the distance between the woman and her husband, the New York Post reported.

Prosecutors said Crompton-Brophy owned the same make and model of gun that was used to kill her husband. She was also seen on surveillance camera footage driving to and from the culinary institute.

While police never found the gun that killed Brophy, prosecutors alleged that the novelist had swapped out the barrel of the gun used in the shooting and then discarded it.

Defence attorneys had painted the prosecution’s case throughout the proceedings as being solely based on circumstantial evidence and had highlighted their client’s marriage as one of love.

Crampton-Brophy was once a prolific novelist who published books such as The Wrong Lover and The Wrong Husband, and in 2011 wrote the “How to Murder Your Husband” essay for the See Jane Publish blog.

“As a romantic suspense writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about murder and, consequently, about police procedure,” she wrote at that time. “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 color.”

Circuit Judge Christopher Ramras ultimately excluded the essay from the trial, noting that it was published in 2011.

Additional reporting by agencies

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in