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The Author Of ‘How To Murder Your Husband’ Has Been Found Guilty Of Murdering Her Husband

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Nancy Crampton Brophy, aged 71, has been found “guilty of second-degree murder” on Wednesday the 25thof May 2022 after “deliberating for two days over Daniel Brophy’s death, according to reports”. In Oregon, Portland in the US, the 12-person jury convicted the self-published romance novelist of fatally shooting her husband; she also happened to have written an essay titled ‘How to Murder Your Husband’.

Nancy Crampton-Brophy and husband Daniel Brophy taken in their dining room at their current house, circa 1999 Credit: Courtesy Brophy Family

The husband, Daniel Brophy, was a 63-year-old chef and was killed on the 2nd of June 2019 as he prepared for work at the Oregon Culinary Institute in south-west Portland. According to multiple reports, Nancy Crampton Brophy showed “no visible reaction to the verdict in the crowded Multnomah county courtroom”. Lisa Maxfield, one of her lawyers, said the defence team would appeal against the decision.

The essay titled ‘How to Murder Your Husband’ was released in 2011 and “detailed various option for committing untraceable killing”. It was written in a form of a brainstorming exercise for other writers, opening with the statement:

“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 color.”

If you are interested in reading the essay ‘How to Murder Your Husband’, then click HERE.

In the trial, judge Christopher Ramras had excluded the essay, noting it had been published several years ago. Jurors were not allowed to consider it in their judgment. However, a prosecutor introduced to the essay’s themes without naming it after Crampton Brophy took the stand. Prosecutors told jurors Crampton Brophy was motivated by money problems and a life insurance policy. However, Crampton Brophy said she had no reason to kill her husband and their financial problems had largely been solved by cashing in a portion of Brophy’s retirement savings plan.

It was found that she owned the same make and model of gun used to kill her husband and was seen on surveillance footage driving to and from the culinary institute, court exhibits and testimony showed. It is important to note, that the police have never found the gun that killed Brophy.

The defence lawyers said the gun parts were the inspiration for an idea Crampton Brophy’s had for a new book and suggested someone else might have killed Brophy during a botched robbery. Then, Crampton Brophy testified that her presence near the culinary school on the day of her husband’s death was mere coincidence and that she had parked in the area to work on her writing.

Crampton Brophy has been in custody since her arrest in September 2018. She will be sentenced on the 13thof June this year.