Author of the essay “How to murder your husband”, tried for having killed her husband

Nancy Crampton Brophy

By Nehru Odeh

Nancy Crampton Brophy, a romance novelist who wrote an article titled “How to Murder Your Husband” is currently on trial in a US court for killing her 63-year-old husband, Daniel Brophy, on June 2, 2018.

Odd? Wait for this. What makes it more intriguing is that the crime followed a strange fatalism. The novelist used her recipe – what she had said in her controversial article: the pattern, the why, how and when to send her husband to an early grave.

However, aside from the brashness of the crime and its well-crafted premeditation, it has the hallmarks of classic detective fiction – a huge insurance payout, an impecunious suspect who claims to have amnesia, a missing weapon and surveillance footage that seem to have caught the culprit in the act.

Not only is Brophy believed to have committed the crime because of the huge insurance payout she hoped to get if her husband died, but she also claims she has amnesia.

Still, Brophy, known for writing the “Wrong Never Felt So Right” series of novels, doesn’t think she’s done any harm. But she is accused of having shot Daniel, using a weapon of which she bought the now missing barrel on eBay.

Circumstantial evidence as well as what she had written in this article make her a prime suspect. Prosecutors say Brophy struggled to make payments on her mortgage, but maintained multiple life insurance policies that would pay a total of $1.4 million if her husband died. This insurance payout that she would get if her husband dies is one of the reasons she killed him.

“I’m doing better with Dan living financially than with Dan dead,” she said during her pitch in Portland this week, The Oregonian newspaper reported.

“Where is the motivation, I would ask you? An editor laughed and said, “I think you need to work harder on this story, you’ve got a big hole in it.”

Prosecutor Shawn Overstreet said security camera footage captured Crampton Brophy’s van outside the Oregon Culinary Institute on June 2, 2018, almost exactly when her chef husband was killed in one of the school classrooms.

“You were there at the very moment someone was shooting your husband… with the exact type of gun you have that mysteriously disappeared,” he said.

Brophy told the court she had no memory of being there, although she acknowledged she must have been, insisting CCTV footage shows her in the area because she was driving to find inspiration for a story.

“He’s not a man I would have shot because I had a memory problem. It seems to me that if I had shot him, I would know every detail.

Daniel, 63, was found dead that morning by students preparing for a class. He had been shot twice.

Investigators say the barrel of the Glock handgun used in the murder was purchased by the suspect on eBay.

This barrel – which is said to contain damning forensic clues – has never been found, despite an exhaustive police search.

Brophy admits to buying a Glock pistol, which she says was for her husband to protect himself when he went mushroom hunting in the woods, but says the missing barrel was purchased as part of the search for an unfinished novel.

“There was a big separation between what was meant for writing and what was meant for protection,” she told the court, The Oregonian reported.

  1. Prosecutors say Brophy, whose “How to Murder Your Husband” remains accessible online and whose books can be purchased on Amazon, faced financial ruin before her husband’s death but continued to contribute to 10 insurance policies -distinct lives.

The Husband Murder Blog discusses methods and motivations for sending an unwanted spouse. These include financial gain and the use of a gun, although guns are noted to be “noisy, messy, require some skill”.

“But what I know about murder is that each of us has it in us when pushed far enough,” the essay says.