Nancy Crampton Brophy romance novelist sentenced to life in chef husband murder. Eligible for parole in 25 years. How life mirrored art.
A self published novelist who wrote an essay entitled, ‘How To Murder Your Husband,’ before being convicted of murdering her own husband has been sentenced to life in prison.
Nancy Crampton Brophy, 71, following her sentencing will be eligible for parole after 25 years CBS News reported.
The Portland, Oregon woman’s sentencing comes just two weeks after Crampton Brophy was found guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of her husband, Daniel Brophy in June 2018 to collect his $1.4 million insurance payout.
The jury spent two days deliberating after a seven-week trial.
During trial proceedings, Crampton Brophy had intimated she was too senile to remember being at the murder scene around the time her spouse was killed. The response followed despite a photo of her driving her car around the time husband had been murdered in the summer four years ago.
Embroiled in huge debt
Daniel Brophy, a culinary chef and longtime instructor at the Oregon Culinary Institute, was shot dead at the Oregon Culinary Institute in 2018. His widow has insisted he fell victim to a mystery assailant. At the time of the murder, the couple were embroiled in huge debt.
No other suspects have ever been named or sought by police, and Crampton Brophy is the only person arrested over the crime.
Crampton-Brophy who is the author of multiple books including ‘The Wrong Husband’ and an essay titled ‘The Wrong Hero,’ despite not remembering being in the vicinity at the time, went on to recall seeing a mysterious man in a van in the area the same day.
No murder weapon was ever found. Crampton Brophy was found to be in possession of a ghost gun kit and a Glock after her husband’s murder, but neither fired the bullets that killed him.
She also denied claims she killed Daniel Brophy for an expensive life insurance policy that paid out $1.4 million following his death.
Brophy said that the couple was in debt and they both began selling Medicare insurance in order to have a steady income and they also agreed to fix their house up in order to sell it as well as taking out a loan against their 401k plan for landscaping, kptv.com reported.
‘Dan knew the credit card debt was going to kill us,’ Brophy said. ‘We could only sustain so much interest. That was really his first concern was let’s get rid of the debt. My first concern was also lets get ready to get the house sold.’
Motivated by large insurance policy
Prosecutors claim that Crampton Brophy was motivated by her husband’s $1.4 million life insurance policy, and played an audio recording to the court of her asking a detective four days later to write a letter specifically exonerating her in her husband’s death so she could collect the life insurance policy.
She claimed the policy was worth $40,000, but investigators said she tried to claim 10 different policies that totaled $1.4 million, as well as a worker’s compensation plan because he was killed on the job.
The court also previously heard how she had bought a ‘ghost gun’ assembly kit online on Christmas Eve 2017, which Brophy himself signed for when it was delivered in January 2018, and his wife was traveling for work.
Unable to put the gun together, Crampton Brophy bought another gun at a Portland gun show in February 2018 and, a month later, began practicing at a gun range.
But in May, Crampton Brophy testified that her fascination with ghost guns grew after reading about them in the New York Times and planned on writing a romance novel about a woman who was scared for her safety, with each chapter introducing a new piece pf the gun.
Previously in the trial, presiding Judge Christopher Ramras ruled that prosecutors could not introduce as evidence an essay titled ‘How to Murder Your Husband’ that Crampton Brophy wrote in 2011 while applying to a writer’s group.
‘I spend a lot of time thinking about murder’
‘As a romantic suspense writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about murder and, consequently, about police procedure,’ Crampton Brophy wrote in the essay.
‘After all, if the murder is supposed to set me free, I certainly don’t want to spend any time in jail. And let me say clearly for the record, I don’t like jumpsuits and orange isn’t my color.’
The essay also weighed valid motives for murder, including infidelity and the costs of a divorce, and methods; knives are ‘really personal’ while guns are ‘loud, messy (and) require some skill.’
But Ramras deemed the post too old to be relevant – and said that any value it may provide the trial was outweighed by the prejudice it may spark.
He ruled that ‘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.’
Crampton Brophy also wrote in an online biography about the struggles of being married to a chef.
‘As a result there are chickens and turkeys in my backyard, a fabulous vegetable garden which also grows tobacco for an insecticide and a hot meal on the table every night,’ she wrote.
‘For those of you who have longed for this, let me caution you. The old adage is true. Be careful what you wish for, when the gods are truly angry, they grant us our wishes.’