Author of ‘How to Murder Your Husband’ now on trial for husband’s murder

Nancy Crampton Brophy appears in a mugshot. Courtesy / Multnomah County Sheriff's Office

A self-published romance writer who once wrote an essay titled “How to Murder Your Husband” is now on trial for the alleged murder of her husband.

Nancy Crampton-Brophy, 71, has been accused of fatally shooting her husband, Daniel Brophy, 63, in June of 2018. She was arrested and charged with the murder three months after his death, reports The Associated Press.

However, despite the title of her essay, a judge has ruled the online post can’t be presented as evidence against her, reports NBC News.

Crampton-Brophy has been in custody since her arrest, and has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

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In her trial, which began Monday, Oregon District Attorney Shawn Overstreet made a case to jurors that Crampton-Brophy was motivated by greed and a $1.4-million insurance policy.

According to The Oregonian, Crampton Brophy’s husband was killed as he was getting ready for work early in the morning on June 2, 2018. He was a teacher at the Oregon Culinary Institute, and was working alone in a kitchen classroom.

Brophy’s death was a mystery until his wife was arrested. Authorities have never named another suspect.

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AP reports that investigators found no signs of force, struggle, or robbery. Brophy had his cellphone, wallet and car keys with him.

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Traffic cameras show Crampton Brophy’s minivan travelling on streets near the institute, close to the apparent time of the shooting, court documents state.

Lead defense attorney Lisa Maxfield said Crampton-Brophy, and her finances, deteriorated after Brophy’s death, far from the prosecution’s claim that she profited from ill-gotten gains.

Portland TV station KGW reported that before the trial began Monday, a judge ruled in favour of a defence motion, ensuring jurors won’t hear about the “How to Murder Your Husband” essay, which was written 11 years ago.

The judge said the post was old and was written for a writing seminar. Any value it might have is outweighed by the prejudice it might cause in the jury.

Crampton-Brophy posted on Facebook shortly after her husband’s death. She said she was “struggling to make sense of everything right now.”

On her author website, her biography reads that Crampton-Brophy is “married to a chef whose mantra is: life is a science project.”

“As a result there are chickens and turkeys in my backyard, a fabulous vegetable garden which also grows tobacco for an insecticide and a hot meal on the table every night,” she wrote.

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“For those of you who have longed for this, let me caution you. The old adage is true. Be careful what you wish for, when the gods are truly angry, they grant us our wishes.”

— With files from The Associated Press

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