The author of the parody How to kill her husband sentenced for spousal murder

A US court in Oregon has found romance writer Nancy Crampton Brophy guilty of killing her husband.

Reality has surpassed fiction. In 2011, Nancy Crampton-Brophy published on her blog a pungent essay soberly titled How to kill her husband. Devoted to the art and the way of getting rid of a spouse without being worried by justice, the text notes that “The thing about killing is that each of us is capable of it, when pushed hard enough”. Eleven years later, the American novelist was sentenced for the murder of her husband by a court in Oregon, in the northwestern United States.

Specializing in self-published romance romances, Nancy Crampton-Brophy has written dozens of books with evocative titles – hell in the heart, the bad husband, the bad brother – and whose alluring covers expose particularly muscular male models. “My stories are about handsome men and strong women”, she presents in the biography part of her blog. Her husband, Daniel Brophy, taught at a cooking school in Portland where they met in the 1980s. In June 2018, students found him dead in a classroom, shot twice in the body. His wife was arrested in September of that same year and had been in detention ever since.

And there’s only one left

After eight hours of deliberation, the jury found Nancy Crampton Brophy guilty of the murder of Daniel Brophy. According to the prosecutors in charge of the case, financial and existential problems would have pushed her to kill her 63-year-old husband. The 71-year-old writer denied outright, assuring that the CCTV footage where she appears near the crime scene simply shows her looking for inspiration for her books.

During their investigation, the inspectors found a firearm in the couple’s house, in the place designated by Nancy Crampton Brophy. They also discovered that the writer had undeclaredly purchased components on eBay to make or modify a kit firearm (a «ghost gun», in English). These elements could have been used to hide the use of the family pistol – the murder weapon, according to the police – and have never been found. When questioned on this subject, the accused swore to have handled the weapon only as an accessory in the writing of a book. She also denies the accusation that she killed her husband to pocket hundreds of thousands of life insurance dollars. The 71-year-old woman’s lawyers have indicated their intention to appeal, according to the local newspaper The Oregonian.

At trial, prosecutor Shawn Overstreet presented the evidence he said showed the defendant committed the murder. “It’s not just about money. It’s about the lifestyle she wanted that Dan couldn’t give her.”, he said to explain his gesture. At the helm, Nancy Crampton Brophy had dismissed these allegations, assuring that her financial problems were ancient history. “Financially, I’m better off if Dan is alive than if he’s dead”she testified. “Where is the motive, I ask you? An editor would laugh and say ‘I think you need to work harder on this story, there’s a big hole in it’.” The length of the sentence that the writer will have to carry out is not yet known.