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'How to Murder Your Husband' author begins life sentence for murdering husband

Romance writer Nancy Crampton Brophy, left, accused of killing her husband, Dan Brophy, in June 2018
Romance writer Nancy Crampton Brophy, left, accused of killing her husband, Dan Brophy, in June 2018   -   Copyright  Dave Killen/AP
By Jonny Walfisz  with AP

The author of an essay titled “How to Murder Your Husband” has began serving time after her conviction for murdering her husband.

Nancy Crampton Brophy was found guilty of second-degree murder over her chef husband Daniel Brophy’s death.

A Portland jury of seven women and five men found the 71-year-old guilty of fatally shooting her 63-year-old husband on 2 June, 2018, while he prepped for work at the Oregon Culinary Institute in Southwest Portland.

Crampton Brophy began serving her sentence this Monday. She will have to wait 25 years before being able to apply for parole. 

Crampton Brophy’s essay was published years before, in 2011, and detailed various methods for committing an untraceable killing and professed her desire to avoid getting caught.

Despite suggestions that the topic and content of her writing could constitute evidence in a trial about the murder of a husband, Judge Christopher Ramras excluded the essay.

During the trial, a prosecutor did allude to the essay’s themes as Crampton Brophy took to the stand.

The prosecution argued that Crampton Brophy was motivated by money problems and her husband's life insurance policy.

Crampton Brophy owned the same make and model of gun used to kill her husband and was seen on surveillance camera footage driving to and from his culinary institute.

Although the police never found the murder weapon, prosecutors argued that Crampton Brophy swapped out the barrel of the gun used in the shooting and then discarded it.

In Crampton Brophy’s defence, lawyers said her ownership of the gun parts was just part of the author’s creative process and that Brophy may have been murdered in a botched robbery. 

Crampton Brophy said she was only near the culinary school by coincidence as she had parked nearby to work on her writing.

She also said she could not have been motivated by money as their financial problems at the time had been solved by cashing in a chunk of Brophy’s retirement savings plan.

After the murder, Crampton Brophy was arrested in September 2018 and has remained in custody ever since.

On hearing the verdict, she displayed no visible reaction.