[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
A jury has convicted the woman who wrote an essay titled How to Murder Your Husband of doing just that.
On Wednesday, romance novelist Nancy Crampton Brophy was found guilty for fatally shooting her husband Dan Brophy in June 2018.
During the trial, prosecutors said the 71-year-old scribe could have potentially gained a large amount of Dan’s insurance money upon his death. Witnesses alleged that the pair were suffering hard times financially when Dan was murdered in the Oregon Culinary Institute, where he served as a chef and teacher.
Previously, Judge Christopher Ramras ruled that Nancy’s self-published 2011 essay would not be included in evidence, stating:
“Any minimal probative value of an article written that long ago is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice and confusion of the issues.”
In the facetious piece, Nancy described the perfect way to kill one’s husband, writing:
“Divorce is expensive, and do you really want to split your possessions? 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.”
Clever she was not, however. Prosecutors pointed out that Nancy’s van was spotted near the institute on traffic cameras on the day Dan was shot multiple times while preparing for his shift. Prior to the killing, Nancy had looked up and bought a “ghost gun” kit online before purchasing a Glock 17 handgun while at the Portland Gun Expo. Prosecutors also noted that the writer had lied about where she was on that morning.
Moreover, Andrea Jacobs, one of Nancy’s former cellmates, testified that the writer told her Dan was shot two times to the heart, adding that Nancy “showed me the distance,” showing the length with her arms.
During her testimony, Nancy admitted she and Dan had money issues, but claimed they were going to downsize their home and that they only bought life insurance policies for their retirement plan. She alleged that she looked into ghost guns as inspiration for a future novel.
Following Nancy’s conviction, the victim’s mother, Karen Brophy, told local station KGW:
“[I’m] just very, very thankful that everything has turned out the way it has. It’s been a long three and a half years.”
Nathaniel Stillwater, the chef’s son from a previous marriage, added:
“We’ve all been waiting three and a half, almost four years now to start grieving this loss. To finally have some closure has been very important and meaningful for our family, and feel that we can start to move on and remember my father always, but begin that process of starting to grieve.”
Nancy’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 13.
[Image via Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office]
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