Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and sometimes truth is fiction. Especially for Nancy Brophy, age 71, who once wrote an essay called “How To Murder Your Husband.”
On May 25, 2022 Nancy Brophy was found guilty of second degree murder of her husband, Daniel Brophy, who was 63. On June 2, 2018, Daniel Brophy was found dead by his students at the Oregon Culinary Institute and evidence showed that he had been shot twice. The prosecution was able to convince the jury that Nancy 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.
Nancy Brophy wrote and self-published an essay she titled “How To Murder Your Husband” in 2011. Ironically, she and Dan were not legally married at the time she wrote the essay. They didn’t legally marry until shortly before she killed her husband, although they appeared to hold themselves out as husband and wife, having had a large wedding celebration in 1997.
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.”
On June 13, Nancy Brophy was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years, reports KGW8. This means she has no chance of getting out of prison until she is 96 years old. A hearing for restitution is scheduled for August. Her attorneys have stated they plan to appeal the verdict.
Several people made victim impact statements before sentencing. Daniel Brophy’s son Nathaniel Stillwater said, “[t]he pain you have delivered to us is immeasurable. Your theft of a parent and grandfather for such selfish reasons is unforgivable (sic). You were, to borrow from your catalogue (sic), the wrong wife.”
Daniel Brophy’s mother, Karen Brophy, also gave a written statement, which the prosecution read. She said, “We will never understand how you can decide that it was an advantage for you to take the life of our son. That he did not deserve to live….” You will never know our beautiful, great grandchildren. Dan’s grandchildren. These children deserve to know and love him as we all have.”
Nancy Brophy will likely spend the rest of her life in prison. Even if she gets out, at 96, she won’t have much life left. Do you think the jury got it right and the sentence is just?