Woman Who Wrote 'How to Murder Your Husband' Essay Sentenced to Life in Prison for Killing Her Husband

Self-published novelist Nancy Crampton Brophy was convicted in May for the second-degree murder of her husband Dan Brophy in June 2018

Photo: Courtesy Brophy Family

Nancy Crampton Brophy, the author who famously penned the essay "How to Murder Your Husband," was ordered to spend the rest of her life behind bars for her own husband's murder.

The 71-year-old Oregon woman was sentenced to life in prison Monday for the June 2018 murder of her husband Daniel Brophy, CNN reported. Nancy was found guilty by a jury in May.

Prosecutors alleged that the writer killed her spouse in order to acquire a $1.5 million life insurance policy. Nancy, a a self-published romance novelist who in 2011 wrote fictional blog post titled "How To Murder Your Husband," followed Da to work and shot him with a handgun.

According to The Washington Post, she initially purchased an unregistered "ghost gun" assembly kit to carry out the crime, but ultimately opted for a 9mm pistol. From there, Nancy allegedly swapped the pistol's barrel with a Glock slide and barrel from eBay in order to present a weapon to police that wouldn't match the 9mm shell casings found at the scene.

Four years ago, on the morning of June 2, 2018, Dan was filling buckets of ice and water at a sink, preparing for his day as an instructor at the Oregon Culinary Institute when someone shot him in the back and the chest. The 63-year-old man was found by his students.

Years later, in court, Nancy's defense attorney argued that their client did not benefit from Dan's death and that she had no reason to kill her husband. Prosecutors argued that security cameras caught Nancy driving near the culinary school about 40 minutes before her husband's death, according to The Washington Post. CNN reported that Nancy testified the sighting was simply a coincidence.

Nancy Crampton-BrophyCredit: Multnomah County Sheriff's Office
Nancy Crampton-Brophy. Multnomah County Sheriff's Office

Nancy's 2011 essay "How To Murder Your Husband." assumes a persona of a woman who wants to kill her husband, though its conclusion does not actually advocate for murdering her real-life husband.

According to KPTV, the judge excluded the essay from use as evidence in the trial, calling it "in-admissable."

In a wry tone, in which she assumes the persona of a woman who wants to murder her husband, Nancy wrote, "Divorce is expensive, and do you really want to split your possessions?"

She added, "Or if you married for money, aren't you entitled to all of it? The drawback is the police aren't stupid. They are looking at you first. So you have to be organized, ruthless and very clever."

Nancy concluded the piece by noting that "it is easier to wish people dead than to actually kill them."

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"I don't want to worry about blood and brains splattered on my walls," she wrote in her piece. "And really, I'm not good at remembering lies. But the thing I know about murder is that every one of us have it in him/her when pushed far enough."

Dan was a well-known figure in Oregon's culinary community and held a particular expertise in mushrooms.

According to The Washington Post, Nancy asked police to write a letter officially stating that she was not a suspect just four days after his death, and that she made claims on 10 life insurance policies following. She was arrested and charged with her husband's murder in September 2018.

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