‘How to Murder Your Husband’ author found guilty of murdering her husband

Nancy Crampton Brophy attempted to collect $1.4 million in life insurance days after taking her husband's life

‘How to Murder Your Husband’ author found guilty of murdering her husband

After deliberating for eight hours, a jury of seven women and five men found Nancy Crampton Brophy, 71, guilty of second-degree murder for fatally shooting her husband Daniel Brophy, 63.

Crampton Brophy, a self-published romance novelist who wrote an essay titled How to Murder Your Husband, allegedly shot her husband four years ago while he was preparing for class at the Oregon Culinary Institute, when no cameras or witnesses were present, according to the New York Times. He was hit by two bullets.

Prosecutors claimed Crampton Brophy was motivated by the US$1.4 million in life insurance policies she attempted to collect in the days after her husband died.

“She had the plan in place,” Shawn Overstreet, a deputy district attorney, said during closing arguments. “She had the opportunity to carry out this murder. She was the only person who had the motive.”

Prosecutors allege that in the months preceding up to her husband's death, Crampton Brophy purchased gun parts, including a component designed to conceal which pistol a round was fired from.

She bought the gun parts for a novel she was writing about a woman who steadily collects gun parts until she builds a whole gun to turn the tables on her abusive husband, according to the defence.

Crampton Brophy had the same make and model of gun as the one used in her spouse’s supposed murder, but authorities never discovered a match to the weapon. Prosecutors claim this is because she replaced her gun's slide and barrel and discarded the original parts.

The defense claimed her appearance near the institute was purely coincidental, and that the husband perished in a botched robbery. They argued the two had been in a loving relationship for 25 years.

But in a 2011 blog post, Crampton Brophy talked about the easiest way to kill your husband and get away with it. The judge refused to allow the blog post to be read because it was written too long ago.

During Crampton Brophy's interrogation, however, the prosecutor alluded to the post's conclusion, asking: “If there is one thing that you know about murder, is it that anyone is capable of doing it?”

Crampton Brophy has been detained since September 2018, over a year after her husband died. Her sentencing is set for June 13, and she faces life in jail.