A self-published romance novelist named Nancy Crampton Brophy, 71, was convicted on Wednesday of murdering husband. Ironically, she previously wrote a blog post in 2011 called “How To Murder Your Husband.”
Her husband, Daniel Brophy, 63, worked at the Oregon Culinary Institute since 2006. On June 2, 2018, he was found dead by his students and evidence showed that had been shot twice.
Prosecutors made the case that Crampton Brophy killed her husband while he was doing kitchen prep at the culinary institute. Her motive was the $1.4 million life insurance policy she would get if her husband died.
The jury was made up of seven women and five men and it found Crampton Brophy guilty after evidence came to light that she had bought gun pieces months before her husband was killed. She went so far as to purchase a device that would obscure what sort of gun the bullet was fired from. The jury deliberated over two days and then convicted her of the charges, said KOIN TV.
“She had the plan in place,” Shawn Overstreet, a deputy district attorney argued in his closing arguments last week, according to the New York Times. “She had the opportunity to carry out this murder. She was the only one who had the motive.”
“Nancy is the only person who could have committed this crime,” Overstreet finalized.
Crampton Brophy seemed emotionless when faced with her conviction on Wednesday. One of her defense attorneys says that the team is going to appeal.
Crampton defended herself by saying that she didn’t need the life insurance money because she had already cashed in on Brophy’s retirement plan. Furthermore, the defense argued that she and her husband were in a loving relationship for 25 years and she wouldn’t have done it because of that.
“We were hoping [the jury] would see it as the “could’ve, should’ve, would’ve that we did, but they didn’t,” Lisa Maxfield, one of the defense attorneys for the writer, said.
The evidence against her did show that she owned the same gun that was used to kill her husband. Court testimony also showed that she was seen on surveillance camera driving to the scene of the crime. Her defense pointed to several homeless people that were also seen in the footage as argument that it could have been someone else.
The gun used to kill the husband was never found, but prosecutors believe that Crampton Brophy used a different barrel to shoot her husband and then tossed it. Her attorney defended her by saying that she bought the guns as part of research for her novel.
During the trial, prosecutors played an audio recording showing Crampton Brophy asking a detective to write her a letter clearing her of her husband’s death so that she could get access to the $1.4 million life insurance policy.
The Brophy’s were having financial problems near the time of the murder. Strangely enough, the couple continued to maintain their life insurance policy payments despite the fact that they were on the “path to financial ruin,” according to Overstreet.
“Well over a thousand dollars a month was being paid into these policies at a time when they were struggling to pay their mortgage,” the prosecutor said.
The fall before the husband’s death, the couple took $35,000 out of Daniel Brophy’s 401k. That was half the total amount in there. They used the money to pay down the $8,000 owed on their mortgage and their credit cards, according to KOIN.
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Oddly, the couple did not legally marry until shortly before his murder. They did have a large wedding celebration in 1997 but were never legally bound until then.
In the convicted murderess’ defense, Maxfield said that much of the evidence was circumstantial and that her client did not have a reason to kill her husband as her finances fell apart after his death – not before.
This case “begs you to cast a blind eye to the most powerful evidence of all: love,” said Maxfield, the defense attorney.
“Nancy has been thoroughly, madly, crazily in love with Dan Brophy, and she remains so to this day,” the attorney continued.
The essay titled “How To Murder Your Husband” was excluded from the trial since it was written in 2011, but the prosecution seem to allude to it several times.
She wrote the blog post titled “How To Murder Your Husband” on Seeing Jane in 2011. In it, she said that she spent “a lot of time thinking about murder and, consequently, about police procedure” and discussed the best way to go about murdering your husband.
“Guns – loud, messy, require some skill. If it takes 10 shots for the sucker to die, either you have terrible aim or he’s on drugs,” Crampton wrote. “Knives – really personal and up close. Blood everywhere. Eww.”
Do you think the jury got it right and she killed her husband?