A Twist for Romance Novelist Accused of Offing Spouse

Nancy Crampton Brophy posted essay in 2011 called 'How to Murder Your Husband'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2018 2:46 PM CDT
Nancy Crampton Brophy   (Portland Police Bureau)

(Newser) – Nancy Crampton Brophy has already grabbed headlines, having been arraigned on a murder charge earlier this month in connection with her chef husband's death: that the 68-year-old was a romance novelist who penned books like 2015's The Wrong Husband drew notice. Now, the Oregonian unearths a more explosive piece of writing by the Portland, Ore., woman: a 700-word essay published online in 2011 called "How to Murder Your Husband." The post begins, "As a romantic suspense writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about murder and, consequently, about police procedure. 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."

It goes on to list five potential motives, among them money ("this is big"), infidelity, and abuse. She then provides seven options "to consider" in terms of method, including guns (the method by which Daniel Brophy, 63, was killed), knives, a pipe wrench, and poison, the last of which is given with a word of caution: "Arsenic is easy to obtain, worse, easy to trace. It takes a month or two to kill someone. Plus, they are sick the entire time. Who wants to hang out with a sick husband?" The remainder of the post asks some hypotheticals (what if the crime is botched? what if the murderer likes the act?) and includes this: "the thing I know about murder is that every one of us have it in him/her when pushed far enough." As far as a possible motive, police haven't shared one, and the Washington Post reports a judge granted prosecutors' request to seal a probable cause affidavit. (Read more murder stories.)

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