Author Who Wrote ‘How To Murder Your Husband’ Awaits Trial for Husband’s Murder
Romance novelist Nancy Crampton Brophy, who penned How To Murder Your Husband, is facing trial for allegedly killing her longtime spouse to collect a $1.4 million life insurance payout.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys have painted two drastically different portraits of Nancy, who in 2018 pleaded not guilty to shooting and killing her husband of 25 years in Portland, Ore.
Nancy's case — which had been placed on hold and then delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic — is now back on the docket. Held without bail since 2018, Nancy faces charges of murder with a firearm and domestic violence.
KGW9 reports the body of Daniel Brophy was found with gunshot wounds in his back and chest at the Oregon Culinary Institute where he was a chef and instructor.
Nancy claims she was at home when the shooting took place. However, detectives found evidence that she may have been near the crime scene.
As reported by OregonLive, Multnomah County Senior Deputy District Attorney Shawn Overstreet told jurors that Nancy was motivated by greed and a $1.4 million insurance policy.
She “executed what she perhaps believed to be the perfect plan,” Overstreet said, claiming that the suspect allegedly followed her husband to work and shot him twice, once in the back and again in the chest as he lay on the classroom's kitchen floor.
“All of the leads that detectives followed up with all pointed back at Nancy Brophy,” Overstreet said.
At the time, Daniel was prepping for work and was the only person inside of the culinary school where no security cameras are present on campus.
Detectives found no signs of struggle or attempted robbery. Daniel's keys, wallet and phone were untouched.
However, traffic cameras tell a different story.
According to traffic camera footage obtained by investigators, Nancy’s minivan appeared to approach the institute and depart just 13 minutes later, around the same time of the shooting.
Attorneys have argued that the 13-minute window would have easily given Nancy the time to fatally shoot her husband.
The NY Post reports that days after the shooting, Nancy allegedly asked police officers for a statement saying that she wasn’t a suspect in the crime, which would allow her to claim her husband’s life insurance policy worth $40,000.
According to court documents, authorities later learned Nancy stood to gain $1.4 million from her husband’s death.
The couple were said to be living paycheck-to-paycheck at the time. With the death of Daniel, Nancy became eligible to collect not only the life insurance, but also a worker’s compensation plan and the equity in their home.
The hefty payout has been cited as the motive.
“Nancy Brophy was maintaining all those life insurance policies while continuing down a path of financial ruin,” Overstreet said. “Well over a thousand dollars a month was being paid into these policies at a time when they were struggling to pay their mortgage.”
But Nancy's lead defense attorney, Lisa Maxfield, claimed that the writer's finances deteriorated after Daniel's death, far from the prosecution's claim that she profited from her husband's passing.
“Murder can be a huge complication when it comes to life insurance,” Maxfield said, announcing plans to present the jury with evidence to clear Nancy from the crime.
Nancy Crampton Brophy's trial is set for Monday, April 11 and is expected to last seven weeks. You can stream the trial on kptv.com and the FOX 12 Facebook page.