true crime

Romance writer Nancy Brophy wrote about 'How to murder your husband'. Now, she's behind bars.


November 4, 2011. A post appears on the blog, See Jane Publish.

“As a romantic suspense writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about murder. And, consequently, about police procedure,” author Nancy Crampton-Brophy begins.

“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 colour.”

Luckily for the Oregon woman, the Multnomah County Detention Center has dressed her in blue.

Nancy in court. Image: CBS.

The 68-year-old is currently behind bars in her home state, charged with the shooting murder of her husband of 27 years, Daniel Brophy.

The cooking school instructor was found slumped in the kitchen at Oregon Culinary Institute at around 8:30am on June 2, bleeding heavily from a single gunshot wound.

The next day Crampton-Brophy shared the "sad news" with her friends and family on Facebook; “My husband and best friend, Chef Dan Brophy was killed yesterday morning. For those of you who are close to me and feel this deserved a phone call, you are right, but I’m struggling to make sense of this right now.”

She was arrested on September 5, but local police have so far remained silent on a possible motive and the details of their investigation have been sealed by the court.

Speculation is swirling amid the secrecy, leading outsiders to point to the pages of her novels.

Like The Wrong Cop, a 2015 romance thriller featuring a female character who “spent every day of her marriage fantasising about killing” her ex-husband.

The promo for Nacy's book, The Wrong Cop. Image:

But it's her own 2011 blog post that seems most burdened with the weight of Crampton-Brophy's arrest.

In it, she weighs the pros and cons of various methods of murdering your husband: knives - "blood everywhere"; poison - "Who wants to hang out with a sick husband?"; hitman - might "rat you out to police".

And guns - "loud, messy, require some skill. If it takes 10 shots for the sucker to die, either you have terrible aim or he’s on drugs."

In the end, she concludes: "I find it is easier to wish people dead than to actually kill them. I don’t want to worry about blood and brains splattered on my walls. And really, I’m not good at remembering lies.

"But the thing I know about murder is that every one of us have [sic] it in him/her when pushed far enough."

Her next court date is pending.