Nancy Crampton Brophy, an American romance author, was sentenced to life in prison by an Oregon court for the murder of her husband. ‘How to Murder Your Husband’ was the subject of an essay she wrote in 2011.
On May 25, the 71-year-old was found guilty of second-degree murder. She shot her late husband, Daniel Brophy, in 2018 for a $1.5 million life insurance payout, according to a verdict.
The self-published author had authored many romantic novels, as well as a now-deleted 2011 essay in which she considered several ways a wife could murder her husband. According to the BBC, Crampton Brophy hypothesised in the essay that a wife who murders her husband must be “ruthless” and “extremely intelligent” because she will almost certainly be a main suspect. She wrote that blades were too intimate, poison was too traceable, and hitmen were too untrustworthy while debating the various methods of murder. Guns, she claimed, were filthy and demanded skill.
Her late spouse was a chef at the Oregon Culinary Institute and a teacher there. On June 2, 2018, his students discovered him dead in the institute’s kitchen.
According to the New York Times, prosecutors constructed their case on evidence that Crampton Brophy purchased gun parts in the months leading up to her husband’s murder, including an extra component that prosecutors claimed could prevent the bullets used in the shooting from being traced back to her pistol.
In her essay, she wrote, “The thing I know about murder is that every one of us have it in him/her when pushed far enough.” However, her essay was not admitted as evidence during the trial because a judge ruled that it was penned years earlier as part of a writing seminar.
Prosecutors successfully argued that Crampton Brophy had the motivation and means to murder her husband, citing the couple’s financial difficulties. According to them, the motivation was the large insurance payout she would receive following his death.
Her life sentence has a 25-year parole chance, and she intends to challenge the conviction through her lawyers.