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Trial Of Romance Novelist Accused Of Killing Her Husband Begins

Nancy Crampton Brophy is accused of gunning down her 63-year-old husband, Daniel Brophy, at the Oregon Culinary Institute where he worked in 2018. 

By Jill Sederstrom
Nancy Crampton Brophy

Opening statements are slated to begin in the trial of a Portland, Oregon romance novelist accused of murdering her husband.

The trial of Nancy Crampton Brophy—who once wrote a 2011 essay titled “How to Murder Your Husband”—will begin Monday morning in the Multnomah County courthouse after years of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic and various legal maneuvers, according to local news outlet KOIN.

Nancy is accused of gunning down her husband, Daniel Brophy, at the Oregon Culinary Institute where he worked as a chef on the morning of June 2, 2018.

Daniel had been alone at the institute that morning when he disarmed the alarm around 7:21 a.m. Investigators believe the 63-year-old was shot to death with a 9 mm handgun—once in the back and another time in the chest—sometime before 7:30 a.m., when another coworker arrived at the institute.

Daniel’s body wasn’t discovered in the kitchen area until 8 a.m. when his coworker let students inside for the day’s classes and made the chilling discovery.

Shortly after his death, Nancy took to Facebook to pay tribute to her husband who she called her “best friend.”

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 everything right now,” she wrote at the time.

But, three months later, Nancy was arrested and charged with murdering her husband.

Authorities said 13 minutes before the alarm at the culinary center was disabled, Nancy’s Toyota minivan was spotted on surveillance video in front of the culinary institute and was seen again leaving the area at 7:28 a.m., KOIN reports.

Prosecutors have also alleged that Nancy purchased a kit for a “ghost gun” online, but never assembled the gun and used the 9 mm pistol instead, according to The Oregonian.

Nancy had allegedly told detectives that she had purchased a 9 mm Glock not long before the shooting, but had never used it. That weapon was later recovered but was not found to match with the evidence left at the scene. It's not clear where the murder weapon that killed Daniel Brophy is.

Authorities believe the now 71-year-old romance novelist killed her husband to collect on more than $350,000 in life insurance money she stood to collect from his death.

Nancy published numerous books before her arrest including “The Wrong Husband,” “The Wrong Lover” and “Hell on the Heart.”

“My stories are about pretty men and strong women, about families that don’t always work and about the joy of finding love and the difficulty of making it stay,” she wrote on her website.

Nancy referenced her husband on her author site, writing that the couple had “ups and downs” but said there had been “more good times than bad.”

She’s remained behind bars awaiting trial since her arrest in 2018