Taking the idiom “practice what you preach” to a whole new level, an Oregon romance author who once wrote a treatise on how to best murder your spouse has been charged with killing her husband of 27 years.
On September 5, Portland police arrested and charged 68-year-old Nancy Crampton Brophy with murder and the unlawful use of a weapon, more than three months after her 63-year-old husband, Daniel, was found shot dead in a kitchen at the Oregon Culinary Institute. Per The Oregonian, there were no suspects at first; following the shooting, Crampton Brophy wrote that she was “struggling to make sense of everything” in a mournful Facebook post.
But was she really? Though Crampton, who describes herself as a “romantic suspense writer,” has written sultry books like Hell on the Heart and Girl Most Likely To, some of her works feature much darker plotlines. In 2011, she wrote that she spends “a lot of time thinking about murder and, consequently, about police procedure,” and published the online essay “How to Murder Your Husband,” in which she meditated on motives and the various weapons one could use to off a spouse: a gun, poison, knife, or even a hit man.
In the essay, Brophy writes that she finds it “easier to wish people dead than to actually kill them,” as murder is messy and requires one to excel at “remembering lies,” but she also says that she thinks that anyone is capable of murdering their spouse — especially if they’re abusive, unfaithful, or greedy.
“The thing I know about murder,” she wrote in 2011, “is that every one of us have it in him/her when pushed far enough.”
While police did not release a possible motive when they arrested Crampton Brophy, they said in a statement that based “on information learned during the investigation, detectives believe Nancy L. Crampton Brophy is the suspect in Daniel C. Brophy’s murder.”
Crampton Brophy’s next court date is set for September 17.