The author of a 2011 essay titled ‘How To Murder your Husband’ Nancy Crampton Brophy has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of her own husband. The self-published romance novelist killed her husband Daniel Brophy after 26 years of marriage in 2018. The jury found her guilty of second-degree murder in May 2022.
Before committing the heinous crime, Nancy was known for her erotic and thrilling novels such as “The Wrong Lover” and “The Wrong Husband”. Her murdered husband Daniel was a lecturer and a chef at Oregon Culinary Institute. He was found dead in the kitchen of the same institute.
‘How to Murder your Husband’ Offered Tips for Untraceable Crime
In ‘How to Murder your Husband’ Nancy detailed many “untraceable” options to commit mariticide. Written as a brainstorming exercise, the author opened by admitting that she thought about murder and police procedures many times. She pondered that if murder was supposed to set one free so why spend time in jail?
In the essay, the author assumed the persona of a woman who wanted to kill her husband. She listed possible motives like “finance, lying and cheating bastard, and abuser” for telling the police. Then she went on to list weapons of choice with thier implications, saying knives were “up close and personal” while poison was considered a “woman’s weapon” but “too easy to trace”. She also talked about guns saying they were “loud, messy, and required some skill”. The essay concluded by noting that it was easier to wish people dead than actually kill them. She added that everyone was capable of murder if pushed too far.
According to reports, Nancy followed her husband to the work and shot him twice in the back while he was preparing. Court exhibits and testimony showed that Nancy had the same gun when she was caught on the CCTV, driving to and from the culinary institute around the time of the murder. However, the police never found the murder weapon. Prosecutors alleged that Nancy bought a “ghost gun” (an untraceable firearm kit), and swapped its parts with a gun she bought from the shop.
The Essay was Not an Admissible Evidence
As Nancy wrote ‘How to Murder Your Husband’ several years ago, the jury excluded it from the trial as inadmissible evidence. However, they found Nancy guilty of killing her husband for a 1.5 million USD life insurance deal. Prosecutors told the jurors that Nancy was motivated by financial problems.
Nancy’s lawyers defended thier client by saying that the gun parts were an inspiration for her new book. They suggested someone else probably killed Daniel in a botched robbery. Nancy also testified that her presence at the institute was merely a coincidence as she was in the area to work on her writing. She also said that her financial problems were mostly solved after cashing in Daniel’s retirement savings plan.
The Wrong Wife
The author of ‘How to Murder your Husband’ has been in custody since her arrest in 2018. Her life sentence, handed down on 13 June 2022, includes parole after 25 years. Nancy’s friends and family members also gave statements ahead of the sentencing. Daniel’s son from a previous marriage, Nathaniel Stillwater, said that she lied, cheated, stole, defraud and ultimately killed a man who was her biggest fan. Addressing Nancy he went on “You were the wrong wife” – taking a page out of one of her own novels.