In an ironic turn of events, a romance novelist who wrote about murdering spouses has been charged in the murder of her husband. Nancy Crampton-Brophy of Portland, Oregon, was arrested several months after the suspicious death of her husband, reported The Washington Post.
The romance novelist wrote books about relationships that were “wrong” but “never felt so right.” In “The Wrong Cop,” she wrote about a woman who “spent every day of her marriage fantasizing about killing” her husband.
Another of her novels, titled “The Wrong Husband,” features a woman tried to flee an abusive husband by faking her death.
She didn't just write novels about murdering spouses. She also wrote an essay called “How to Murder Your Husband” about how to get away with it.
She wrote the post on the blog “See Jane Publish” in November 2011. It's now private. The post listed the five motives, weapons to chose, and things to avoid if you don't want to get caught.
Crampton-Brophy advised against hiring a hit man because “an amazing number of hitmen rat you out to the police." She also said using a lover is “never a good idea.” She also advised against using poison because it's traceable.
“Who wants to hang out with a sick husband?” she added.
Later, she wrote, “After all, if the murder is supposed to set me free, I certainly don’t want to spend any time in jail.”
Crampton-Brophy appears to have followed her own advice. The police allege that she shot her husband at his place of work, the Oregon Culinary Institute.
Brophy, a 63-year-old chef, was fatally shot on the morning of June 2. Students coming for a class found him bleeding. At the time, police had no description of the suspect.
The killing puzzled police from the start. However, Crampton-Brophy kept up a good facade, wring an emotional post on Facebook about her husband.
“For my Facebook friends and family, I have sad news to relate,” Crampton-Brophy wrote. “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.”
Daniel Brophy was beloved by those who knew him at work. He was considered a “resident encyclopedia of knowledge” who had a “creative approach to teaching” and an “offbeat sense of humor.” Hundreds came to mourn him at a memorial on June 4—including his wife.
Crampton-Brophy, 68, was arrested Sept. 5 on charges of murdering her husband with a gun and unlawful use of a weapon in the death of her husband, Daniel Brophy, according to the Portland Police Bureau. She was denied bail, and she has not entered a plea.
Police have not revealed the alleged motive.
“It’s a big shock. It’s a big shock,” Brophy’s mother, Karen Brophy, told The Post of her daughter-in-law’s arrest. “But we’re not making any statements.”
The couple had been married for 27 years, according to court documents. According to her blog, the couple “had our ups and downs.” However, she added that there were “more good times than bad.”
Crampton-Brophy had published at least seven novels mostly focused on secret relationships between, as she put it, “rugged men and strong women.” The lead male characters were almost always Navy SEALs.
In addition to her essay about how to murder your husband, Crampton-Brophy frequently joked about their relationship darkly. In one post, she hinted they'd kill each other before they got divorced.
She wrote, “My husband and I are both on our second (and final — trust me!) marriage. We vowed, prior to saying ‘I do,’ that we would not end in divorce. We did not, I should note, rule out a tragic drive-by shooting or a suspicious accident.”
At the end of the post, she said she loved “the way he can make me laugh when I’m really angry,” and “how, when I least expect it, he can say the perfect thing.”
“But one last word of caution,” she wrote, “if I ever take a swan-dive off a high building, investigate. Investigate. Investigate.”
What a terrible turn of affairs. Please pray for her husband's family as they deal with his early death at what appears to be the hands of his wife.