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‘The Wrong Wife’: Author of ‘How to Murder Your Husband’ Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murdering Husband

Nancy Crampton-Brophy testifies

Nancy Crampton Brophy testifies

A 71-year-old self-published romance novelist who once wrote an essay titled “How to Murder Your Husband” will spend the rest of her life behind bars for murdering her husband, prosecutors announced. Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Christopher A. Ramras on Monday sentenced Nancy Crampton Brophy to life in prison for fatally shooting her husband, Daniel Brophy, in 2018.

An Oregon jury last month deliberated for roughly two days before finding Crampton Brophy guilty on one count of second-degree murder with a firearm in her husband’s death, as Law&Crome previously reported. Under the terms of the sentence, Crampton Brophy will be eligible for parole in 25 years.

Prior to handing down the sentence, Judge Ramras looked on as several members of Daniel Brophy’s family read victim impact statements.

“You are a monster and I’m ashamed that I have to admit to my children that people like you walk among us undetected,” said Daniel’s son, Nathaniel Stillwater, according to a report from CBS News. “You lived in the shadow of a great human being.”

“You opted to lie, cheat, steal, defraud and ultimately kill the man that was your biggest fan. You were – to borrow from your catalogue – the wrong wife,” Stillwater reportedly continued.

Clarinda Perez, a student at the Oregon Culinary Institute (OCI) where Daniel worked, also addressed the court. Perez reportedly performed CPR on Daniel after a group of students and faculty on June 18, 2018 found him on a kitchen floor suffering from two gunshot wounds to the chest. Perez reportedly refuted Crampton Brophy’s earlier claim that Daniel’s death did not affect OCI staff and students as significantly as she was impacted.

“All of us were affected that day and to hear her say that we went on with our lives and that nothing happened, that we weren’t affected is a true statement and reflection of what a cold-blooded murderer she is,” Perez said, according to a report from Oregon CBS affiliate KOIN-TV.

During the trial, prosecutors argued that Crampton Brophy was a meticulous and crafty operator who painstakingly purchased the parts and put together the gun used in the murder over the course of several months. She was motivated by the hefty windfall she would receive from Daniel’s life insurance policies.

Testifying in her own defense, Crampton Brophy said that she and her husband had purchased a Glock 9mm as well as a ghost gun kit together but the later came to regret their purchases. She claimed they quickly stored the Glock and never completed the ghost gun. Daniel was killed with a 9mm Glock.

Shell casings recovered form the scene did not match casings fired from the Glock found in her possession. Crampton Brophy also admitted, however, that she had purchased a separate slide and barrel for “research” purposes that were never recovered. She further claimed that the pieces must have went missing while she was in jail and other people were going through her personal possessions.

Prosecutors argued that she used the extra slide and barrel to shoot Daniel with the Glock, reattached the original slide and barrel, then disposed of the spare parts.

Surveillance camera footage also showed Crampton Brophy’s vehicle arrive at OCI just before the murder, and leaving just after the shooting took place.

The case against Crampton Brophy made national headlines, in part due to her 2011 blog post, “How to Murder Your Husband.” Though Judge Ramras did not allow the post into evidence at trial, Crampton Brophy emphasized in the essay that a murderous wife would have to be “organized, ruthless, and very clever.”

“After all, if the murder is supposed to set me free, I certainly don’t want to spend any time in jail,” she wrote. “And let me say clearly for the record, I don’t like jumpsuits and orange isn’t my color.”

Colin Kalmbacher contributed to this report.

[image via KGW screengrab]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.