This headline reads like the plot of a poorly constructed potboiler. Nancy Crampton-Brophy, a novelist, was arrested on September 5th for murdering her husband, Daniel Brophy. For those watching from the sidelines, Crampton-Brophy seems like a logical suspect. Murder is a common plot line in her books, and the fictitious husbands are often the victims.
“In a twist of irony so devious it would have turned Agatha Christie green with envy, Oregon chef Daniel Brophy was found shot to death nearly seven years after his wife of 27 years penned an essay titled ‘How to Murder Your Husband’,” The New York Post writes.
“As a romantic suspense writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about murder and, consequently, about police procedure,” Brophy wrote in the 2011 essay.
“After all, if the murder is supposed to set me free, I certainly don’t want to spend any time in jail.”
Crampton-Brophy wrote other titles, too: “Hell on the Heart” and “The Wrong Husband.”
Daniel Brophy was shot and killed on June 2nd. He was a teacher at the Oregon Culinary Institute and was killed in a kitchen at the Institute.
“Dan was one of the very few people I’ve known that knew exactly what he wanted in life and loved doing it,” Crampton-Brophy said two days after Daniel’s demise.
Three months later, Crampton-Brophy was taken into custody.
“Detectives believe Nancy L. Crampton-Brophy is the suspect in Daniel C. Brophy’s murder,” said Portland police. They are not going public with their evidence yet and have not defined what they believe to be the motive.
“None of us believe it,” Holly Crampton told reporters. “It’s craziness and it’s just not true.”
“A neighbor of the Brophys from Beaverton, Ore., recalled the writer saying she might move to escape her old life,” the Post writes.
“She said that his side of the bedroom was haunting her,” Heidi Hutchinson told reporters.
Crampton-Brophy is being held without bail until her hearing later this month. The records in the case have been sealed.
What remains public is the vast library of the author’s own writings. While they certainly don’t prove intent or motive, the media is having a field day with the texts.
On her author site, Crampton-Brophy says writing fictions often draws on “portions of your own life that you’ve long forgotten or had purposely buried deep. Granted, sometimes it is smarter to change the ending”.
“The old adage is true. Be careful what you wish for, when the gods are truly angry, they grant us our wishes,” she writes.