Romance Novelist Who Wrote 'How To Murder Your Husband' Found Guilty of Murdering Her Husband

Romance Novelist Who Wrote 'How To Murder Your Husband' Found Guilty of Murdering Her Husband

'If the murder is supposed to set me free, I certainly don't want to spend any time in jail... I don't like jumpsuits and orange isn't my color,' the author wrote in

A jury in the US city of Portland, Oregon, on Wednesday found author Nancy Crampton-Brophy guilty of second-degree murder in the 2018 death of her husband, chef Daniel Brophy. According to CNN, the self-published romance novelist—who once wrote a notorious essay titled How to Murder Your Husband—showed no visible emotion as the verdict was read out. Brophy, a 63-year-old chef, was gunned down at the culinary school where he taught cooking classes on June 2, 2018, as he prepared for work. Crampton-Brophy was arrested for the crime that September.


Prosecutors argued the couple was struggling with debt and that her husband's death could have left the defendant with more than $1 million in life insurance policies and other assets. They informed jurors that Crampton-Brophy had followed her husband to work the day of his death and shot him with a Glock 9mm handgun. Investigators found two 9mm shell casings at the scene and a "ghost gun"—unregistered and untraceable firearms—assembly kit that the author bought at a storage facility. In closing arguments this week, Multnomah County Senior Deputy District Attorney Shawn Overstreet said Crampton-Brophy was the only person who had a motive to kill her husband.


"This wasn't working for Nancy," Overstreet said. "It isn't just about money. It's about the lifestyle that Dan couldn't give to her." However, the 71-year-old novelist rejected that assertion when she took the witness stand and insisted she was better off financially with her husband alive. She also testified that she couldn't remember all the details from the morning of her husband's murder and that her minivan's sighting near the culinary school that morning was purely coincidental. As for why she had bought a gun and a ghost-gun kit, she claimed it was part of research for a new book. "What I can tell you is it was for writing," she said. "It was not, as you would believe, to murder my husband."


After deliberating for two days over Daniel Brophy’s death, the 12-person jury didn't buy Crampton-Brophy's justifications. She faces a minimum of 25 years in prison at her sentencing, set for June 13. News of Brophy's murder made headlines everywhere, in part due to a 700-word essay Crampton-Brophy wrote seven years before her husband's death. "As a romantic suspense writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about murder and, consequently, about police procedure," begins the blog, which has since been made private, reports The Guardian. "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."


The blog post went on to list the pros and cons of killing a villainous husband, detail motives—financial, "lying, cheating bastard", abuser—and discuss possible methods. While Crampton-Brophy deemed knives "personal and close up. Blood everywhere," she noted that poison is "considered a woman's weapon" and too easy to trace. On the other hand, guns were "loud, messy, require some skill," she wrote. "I find it is easier to wish people dead than to actually kill them. I don't want to worry about blood and brains splattered on my walls. And really, I'm not good at remembering lies. But the thing I know about murder is that every one of us have it in him/her when pushed far enough."


The circuit judge Christopher Ramras excluded the essay from the trial, noting it had been published several years ago as part of a writing seminar and could unfairly prejudice the jury. However, a prosecutor did allude to the essay's themes without naming it after Crampton Brophy took the stand.

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