Nancy Crampton-Brophy is accused of murdering her chef husband Daniel Brophy

By Christine Pelisek
April 23, 2019 03:53 PM
Credit: Courtesy Brophy Family

On the morning of June 2, 2018, chef Dan Brophy, 63, was found fatally shot at the Oregon Culinary Institute, where the popular chef worked as an instructor.

Shortly after police arrived on the scene, Brophy’s wife Nancy Crampton-Brophy arrived. A romance novelist who sold life insurance policies, Crampton-Brophy told police she’d been in bed that morning when her husband left at about 7 a.m. to drive to work, and she’d come to the crime scene after a friend relayed she’d seen news reports about an incident at the school.

But, in newly released court documents obtained by PEOPLE, police allege she was lying — and that she was the killer.

Police allege surveillance footage from numerous businesses exposes Crampton-Brophy’s lie, showing the 68-year-old driving her Toyota Sienna minivan near the culinary school prior to the shooting and then afterward.

“I believe Nancy Lee Crampton Brophy was circling the area in her dark colored mini-van prior to Daniel C. Brophy’s arrival at the Oregon Culinary Institute, and Nancy Lee Crampton Brophy was watching for Daniel C. Brophy’s arrival in order to effect his eventual murder,” a Portland police detective alleges in a probable cause affidavit.

Authorities said Crampton-Brophy never offered an explanation about why she allegedly lied about her whereabouts that morning.

Nancy Crampton-Brophy
| Credit: Multnomah County Sheriff's Office

Police said when a detective was asked to take photos of Crampton-Brophy’s minivan, she responded: “Why? I wasn’t there this morning, I was at home.”

According to the affidavit, police also discovered bookmarked on an iTunes account the couple shared an article titled: “10 ways to cover up a murder.”

Credit: Linkedin

Wife Had Life Insurance Policies for Husband Totaling $750,000

In November 2011, long before she was accused of murder, Crampton-Brophy explained the perfect way to kill one’s husband in a tongue-in-cheek essay on her website entitled “How to Murder Your Husband.”

In a wry tone, in which she assumes the persona of a woman who wants to murder her husband, Crampton-Brophy 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.”

Crampton-Brophy concluded the piece by noting that “it is easier to wish people dead than to actually kill them.”

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

“I don’t want to worry about blood and brains splattered on my walls,” she wrote. “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.”

Three days after the murder, Crampton-Brophy allegedly asked detectives for a letter stating that she was not a suspect in Brophy’s murder so she could provide it to her life insurance company.

“Nancy stated she had a policy for Daniel valued at $40,000,” the affidavit reads.

According to the affidavit, detectives declined to provide a letter and later learned that she was the beneficiary of multiple life insurance policies totaling around $750,000.

Crampton-Brophy has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge against her and remains held without bail at the Multnomah County jail. Her attorney could not be reached for comment.