Nancy Crampton Brophy is a 71-year-old romance novelist who published a blog post called “How To Murder Your Husband”. This post explores the motives and methods associated with killing a spouse.
Nancy was accused of taking her writing too seriously by testing the unlawful methods and killing her husband, Daniel Brophy.
Daniel Brophy, a chef, was found dead inside the kitchen at the Oregon Culinary Institute. Nancy Brophy was arrested after the Multnomah County jury found her guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Daniel Brophy.
Anthony Merrill, a lead detective who investigated this case, testified that Nancy was a key suspect with leads pointing to her.
Investigators stated they could not find the slide and barrel or gun that fired the two bullets. During the trial, Nancy confessed to purchasing a slide and barrel for research purposes. She claims it went missing when people shifted her possessions from her residence while in custody.
Prosecutors argued that the woman used this slide and barrel on a different gun frame she used to commit the murder. After the murder, they believe she must have gotten rid of the slide and barrel to avoid being caught by the officials.
Prosecutors accuse Nancy of having a strong motive for killing her husband due to financial struggles. His death would allow her to claim his life insurance policies and pay off her accumulating debt. When digging into her financial history, they found that the couple had withdrawn $35,000 out of Daniel’s 401K account to pay down debts.
Nancy had evidence stacked against her when surveillance videos from businesses near the Oregon Culinary Institute revealed her pulling up in her grey minivan around the time her husband was killed.
In her testimony, Nancy confirmed that it was her van on the surveillance video. This confession contradicts the previously stated claim that she was in bed at home writing during the murder of her husband. Upon further investigation, she claims to have trouble recalling the incidents from that day.
The defense lawyer called on a psychologist who explained that traumatic events could cause people to forget events that led up to the incident. The psychologist said Nancy’s tests confirmed that she was not a psychopath.
She may not be a psychopath but she is a talented writer. Her published work, “How To Murder Your Husband”, blurs the lines between fiction and reality with this murder case.