A woman was arrested last week for the murder of her husband, just a few years after publishing an essay called ‘How to Murder Your Husband’.
Nancy Crampton Brophy, a 68-year-old novelist from Oregon, was arrested for allegedly shooting her husband of 27 years, 63-year-old Daniel Brophy, back in June of this year, 2018.
Daniel was a teacher at the Oregon Culinary Institute. His body was found by students in the kitchen of the school. Students, teachers and colleagues there held a candlelit vigil for him two days after his death.
Although the woman appeared in court on charges of murder, police and prosecutors have not suggested any possible motive yet, according to Oregon Live.
In an essay written in 2011, called ‘How To Murder Your Husband’, Nancy wrote:
As a romantic suspense writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about murder and, consequently, about police procedure.
After all, if the murder is supposed to set me free, I certainly don’t want to spend any time in jail.
In the essay the author goes on to explain a number of reasons that could make someone want to kill their husband. Among them were abuse, greed and infidelity.
Divorce is expensive, and do you really want to split your possessions? Or if you married for money, aren’t you entitled to all of it?
The drawback is the police aren’t stupid. They are looking at you first.
So you have to be organized, ruthless, and very clever. Husbands have disappeared from cruise ships before. Why not yours?
Nancy is the author of a series of books known as ‘The Wrong Series’, which includes books titled ‘The Wrong Husband’, ‘The Wrong Cop’, ‘The Wrong Lover’ and ‘The Wrong Hero’.
According to reports from neighbours, Nancy did not seem fazed or any different in the weeks after her husband’s death, and even casually admitted that police considered her a suspect.
On her author page, Nancy’s biography says she writes about ‘pretty men and strong women’.
Writers are liars. I don’t remember who said that but it’s not true. In writing fiction, you dig deep and unearth portions of your own life that you’ve long forgotten or had purposely buried deep. Granted, sometimes it is smarter to change the ending.
I love story-telling. My imaginary friends have rich, larger-than-life lives encompassed in a few hundred pages with definite beginnings, snappy middles, and above all, happy endings. My personal life is never as clearly defined.
Beginnings are hard to locate. A new job, a school term, a family event like a death or a wedding might signal the start of something new, but it’s never heralded with any fanfare other than another link in the chain.
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.
Brophy is due to appear in court again later this month.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.