Portland, OR – A romantic mystery novelist who has written books about bad relationships, as well as an essay entitled “How to Murder Your Husband,” was arrested for allegedly killing her husband.
Nancy Crampton Brophy, 68, has been charged with murder with a gun and unlawful use of a weapon in the death of her husband, according to the Portland Police Bureau.
She was taken into custody on Sept. 5, about three months after her husband Daniel Brophy was fatally shot at his workplace at the Oregon Culinary Institute on June 2, according to The Washington Post.
Daniel Brophy, 63, was a chef and was married to Crampton Brophy for more than 25 years.
Crampton Brophy had written a lot about the topics of wrong relationships and killing husbands, according to The Washington Post.
In “The Wrong Cop,” the author wrote about a woman who “spent every day of her marriage fantasizing about killing” her spouse.
She wrote about a woman running away from an abusive husband and faking her death in “The Wrong Husband.”
Then Crampton Brophy wrote an essay entitled “How to Murder Your Husband,” according to The Washington Post. She wrote about how to get away with the murder of a husband in the essay that was posted on the blog “See Jane Publish” in November of 2011.
In that post, Crampton Brophy wrote about the type of murder weapons she would choose if her character were to kill her spouse in a romance novel. She also described the five main motives for killing a spouse, according to The Washington Post.
Crampton Brophy said it was not a good idea to hire a hit man to do the killing.
She wrote “an amazing number of hit men rat you out to the police.”
She said it wasn’t a good idea to hire a lover to do the killing. And poison was a bad idea, too, according to The Washington Post.
“Never a good idea,” Crampton Brophy wrote, adding that poison was traceable. “Who wants to hang out with a sick husband?”
“After all, if the murder is supposed to set me free, I certainly don’t want to spend any time in jail,” Crampton Brophy wrote.
That post was made private by the site administrators after inquiries from The Washington Post.
The police have not yet said what the motive was for the murder.
“It’s a big shock. It’s a big shock,” Karen Brophy, the mother of Daniel Brophy, told The Washington Post. “But we’re not making any statements.”
A day after the murder, Crampton Brophy addressed the murder in an emotional post on Facebook, according to The Washington Post.
“For my Facebook friends and family, I have sad news to relate. My husband and best friend, Chef Dan Brophy was killed yesterday morning. For those of you who are close to me and feel this deserved a phone call, you are right, but I’m struggling to make sense of this right now,” she posted.
However, police began to suspect the wife in the murder.
Police haven’t revealed much about their case in order to protect its integrity.
Brent Weisberg, communications director at the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, said releasing more information about the case could jeopardize the investigation, according to The Oregonian.
"Everyone that knows her, especially those closer to her than myself are sick at heart," Anna Brentwood, a writing colleague who has known the couple for 20 years, told The Oregonian. "We are hoping the police are wrong and just going after the easiest target."
A neighbor told The Oregonian that Crampton Brophy had an unusual reaction to her husband’s murder.
"She never showed any signs of being upset or sad," said Don McConnell. "I would say she had an air of relief, like it was almost a godsend."
McConnell said this summer he wondered aloud what the motive could be to murder Brophy.
"It sounded to me more like a disgruntled student who had a thing with your husband," McConnell recalled saying to Crampton Brophy, according to The Oregonian. "I said, 'Are they [the police] keeping in touch with you?' She said 'No, I'm a suspect.’”