Author of 'How to Murder Your Husband' essay is charged with murdering her husband

Author of 'How to Murder Your Husband' essay is charged with murdering her husband

There's a popular idiom in the English language: if someone is particularly adept or pioneering in a certain field, we often say, "they practically wrote the book on it." In the case of Nancy Crampton Brophy, however, that might literally be the case.

The 68-year-old novelist from Portland, Oregon, was recently charged with the murder of her husband, 63-year-old Daniel Brophy - and it seems that she is no stranger to the subject of spousal homicide. In fact, the writer has several published works about women who fantasise about murdering their husbands or fleeing relationships, and even allegedly penned an essay titled, "How to Murder Your Husband".

Some of the advice she gave in the 700-word essay included not using poison ("who wants to hang out with a sick husband?") and to avoid hiring someone else to do the deed ("an amazing number of hit men rat you out to the police"). And, if the accusations against her are proven to be true, it would certainly seem as if she practised what she preached.

Daniel Brophy, a chef, was found bleeding to death from a gunshot wound at the Oregon Culinary Institute on June 2nd of this year. The murder took place in the morning, and nobody was able to recall seeing a potential assailant.

A day after the murder, Nancy posted this status on Facebook:

"For my facebook friends and family, I have sad news to relate. My husband and best friend, Chef Dan Brophy was killed yesterday morning. 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.

"There is a candle-light vigil at Oregon Culinary Institute tomorrow, Monday, June 4th at 7 pm.

"While I appreciate all of your loving responses, I am overwhelmed. Please save phone calls for a few days until I can function."

Nancy had been a suspect in the murder for a number of months, but was only arrested last week. She was charged with murder and unlawful use of a weapon, and has been jailed without bail until her trial. She has not yet filed a plea.

Meanwhile, her husband has been mourned by his family and community.

Daniel was reportedly a much-beloved member of his local area during his lifetime, and colleagues of his remember him for his "offbeat sense of humor and creative approach to teaching". The aforementioned candlelight vigil drew hundreds of people earlier this summer, including, of course, members of his family.

"It’s a big shock. It’s a big shock," said Brophy’s mother, Karen Brophy, when she learned of her daughter-in-law's arrest. "But we’re not making any statements."

"If the murder is supposed to set me free, I certainly don’t want to spend any time in jail," Nancy Crampton Brophy wrote in her essay.

Whether she definitely committed the crime or not remains to be judged, but - if she is found guilty - at least one thing will be for sure: her essay didn't give very good advice.