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In 2011, romance novelist Nancy Brophy wrote a curious blog post. It was called “How to Murder Your Husband,” and it detailed how she, in a purely speculative fashion, would do just that. One commenter joked that she would check up on her husband. Then, in 2018, Brophy’s husband was murdered. Nancy was a suspect and now, after a seven-week trial, she has been convicted of that very deed.
As per The New York Times, a jury found Brophy guilty of shooting her husband, chef Daniel, at the Oregon Culinary Institute, where he taught. The weapon was a “ghost gun,” or a handmade weapon used so as to be untraceable, which she made from parts ordered from separate outlets, including an extra slide and barrel she purchased on eBay. He was killed in the morning, before classes. Students arriving for class found his body.
The case against Nancy was, prosecutors admitted, all circumstantial. But they concluded that not only was there enough of such evidence, but also that no one else but her could have committed the crime. Nancy and her lawyers contended that she and her late husband were happily married and that she had no motive for killing him. She also claimed a fictional version of the deed for which she has been convicted would not hold up to scrutiny, saying, “An editor would laugh and say, ‘I think you need to work harder on this story. You have kind of a big hole in it.”
Nancy’s aforementioned blog post is not as incriminating as it sounds. In it, she runs through a list of weapons, whose efficacy she rates. Guns, like the one she’s said to have used, are “too loud and noisy.” Knives are too bloody. Garrotes require too much upper-body strength. She seems to conclude that poison is the best bet. The judge in her murder trial tossed the post as evidence.
The second-degree murder charge for which Brophy has been convicted carries a punishment of life in prison. She will be sentenced on June 13.