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Nancy Crampton-Brophy, ‘How to Murder Your Husband’ writer, convicted of killing husband

An Oregon jury has found novelist Nancy Crampton-Brophy guilty of her husband's murder. (Source: KPTV)
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 3:11 PM CDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV/Gray News) - A jury has decided that romance novelist Nancy Crampton-Brophy is responsible for killing her husband, Daniel Brophy, in 2018.

Nancy Crampton-Brophy was a romance novelist who once wrote an essay titled “How to Murder Your Husband” and novels that included “The Wrong Husband” and “Hell On The Heart.”

KPTV reports her seven-week trial ended this week with an hour of rebuttal from the prosecution.

Prosecutor Shawn Overstreet made one last effort to convince the jury that 71-year-old Nancy Crampton-Brophy was guilty of murder. He painted the defense’s case as one full of lies and questionable testimony.

“If you’re trying to make sense of this in your head and you’re going ‘I don’t get it,’ it’s because the defense is hoping for your confusion somehow equals reasonable doubts, and I can assure you, confusion is not reasonable doubt,” Overstreet said.

Authorities said Daniel Brophy, 63, was killed on June 2, 2018, as he prepped for work at the Oregon Culinary Institute in Southwest Portland.

Overstreet explained that Crampton-Brophy said she was driving in the same area as the Oregon Culinary Institute during the same time Brophy was shot and killed but didn’t remember being behind the wheel, calling her explanation a jumbled alibi.

He also went back through Crampton-Brophy’s claims that the last time she saw her husband was early that morning when he was addressing a leaking sink. Once again, telling the jury, that her alibi didn’t line up.

“The reality is the last time Nancy saw Dan was when she stood over him and then looked him in his eyes as he’s breathing in his last bit of life, paralyzed, and injured,” Overstreet said. “He wasn’t dead yet. So, she looked into his eyes and pulled that trigger one last time. That’s the last time she saw him.”

Defense attorneys for Crampton-Brophy argued that a homeless person followed Brophy into the culinary institute and shot and killed him.

“The defense wants you to believe that there was a homeless problem when witness after witness basically said there wasn’t,” Overstreet said.

Overstreet ended his rebuttal by reminding the jury that Crampton-Brophy said on the stand that anyone was capable of murder.

“Nancy is guilty of murdering her husband, and it is up to you to deliver the justice for Dan Brophy and the rest of the Brophy family,” Overstreet said. “I’m asking you to return the verdict of guilty.”

She stood in the courtroom quiet and still as the jury filed into the courtroom. She sat motionless as the judge read the guilty verdict to the court.

Brophy’s mother, Karen Brophy, said it was a long three and a half years, but she’s grateful for the support from the community.

“I want them to know we are very happy, and I feel like Portland has learned our son was a great guy through the trial, and we really miss him,” Karen Brophy said.

Crampton-Brophy’s defense lawyer Lisa Maxfield says the team was hoping for a different outcome, and they are planning to appeal.

The 71-year-old’s sentencing is scheduled for June 13 at 9 a.m.

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