An Oregon woman who once wrote an essay titled How to Murder Your Husband has been convicted of … oh, yes, you guessed it: murdering her husband.
On Wednesday, a jury found Nancy Crampton Brophy, 71, guilty of second-degree murder in the 2018 shooting death of Daniel Brophy, 63.
Throughout her life, Ms. Brophy self-published several romance novels and multiple other works. In one of her online posts from 2011, she mused that a wife who kills her spouse must be “ruthless” and “very clever” because she is likely to become a prime suspect.
Per the New York Times, she considered various methods of murder, supposing that knives were too personal, poison was too traceable and hitmen were too untrustworthy. She wrote that guns were messy and required skill.
Despite the amusing and seemingly relevant posts, Circuit Judge Christopher Ramras ultimately excluded the essay from the trial.
The contentious court proceedings lasted seven weeks while the jury deliberated for just two days.
Daniel Brophy taught classes at the Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland and on the morning of June 2, 2018, students discovered his body on the floor of a kitchen. He had been shot twice.
Police never found the gun that killed him though Ms. Brophy both owned the same make and model of the gun used to kill her husband but was also seen on surveillance camera footage driving to and from the culinary institute.
Prosecutors alleged that she had swapped out the barrel of the gun and then discarded it. They hypothesized that Ms. Brophy shot her husband at his workplace, where there would be no cameras or witnesses, then moved it and staged a scene to collect on his sizable life insurance policies.
In her testimony, Ms. Brophy said that their financial issues were fixed after cashing in against a retirement plan.
Deputy district attorney Shawn Overstreet did not buy the testimony, using money as his motive in the closing arguments.
“She had the plan in place,” he said. “She had the opportunity to carry out this murder. She was the only person who had the motive.”
The family said they were glad to finally be able to move forwad.
“We’ve all been waiting [four] years to start grieving this loss,” Nathaniel Stillwater, Dan’s son, told KOIN.com. “To finally have some closure has been very important and meaningful for our family so we can start to move on and always remember my father, but begin that process of trying to grieve.”
Ms. Brody is scheduled to be sentenced June 13. The conviction carries a penalty of life in prison.