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Romance novelist accused of murdering chef husband for life insurance: Court docs detail allegations ahead of bail hearing

KPTV Portland logo KPTV Portland 4/28/2020
Romance novelist accused of murdering chef husband for life insurance: Court docs detail allegations ahead of bail hearing
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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – A romance novelist is accused of shooting and killing her chef husband to cash in on more $1.5 million in insurance claims and equity from their home, according to allegations in court documents released Monday in advance of a bail hearing for Nancy Crampton Brophy.

Brophy, 69, was arrested in September 2018 and charged with murder in connection with the death of her husband, 63-year-old Daniel Brophy.

Daniel Brophy was found killed in June 2018 at the Oregon Culinary Institute, where he was a chef and instructor.

Nancy Brophy is seeking to be released from jail and moved to “home detention” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office is opposing bail for Nancy Brophy.

Court documents released in April 2019 revealed investigative details about the case, including Nancy Brophy being caught by surveillance cameras outside the crime scene.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Nancy Brophy during prior court appearance. (KPTV)  © Provided by KPTV Portland

Nancy Brophy during prior court appearance. (KPTV) 

New court documents released Monday state Nancy Brophy had “numerous” life insurance policies taken out on Daniel Brophy, along with a worker’s compensation claim because he was killed at his workplace, that all totaled $1.15 million.

Detectives said Nancy Brophy acted as her own agent to sell herself those life insurance policies, according to court documents. She was also the sole beneficiary.

Investigators said Nancy Brophy had expressed an interest in selling the couple’s home and traveling the world, however court documents state their bank accounts showed a “financial hardship lasting for several years.”

Court documents state Nancy Brophy paid $16,000 in insurance premiums in 2017, as the couple fell $6,000 behind in mortgage payments that same year.

Detectives said Nancy Brophy also spent more than $1,500 on firearms and gun components in less than two months.

a close up of a woman: Nancy Brophy, jail booking photo © Provided by KPTV Portland

Nancy Brophy, jail booking photo

According to court documents, in February 2018, detectives believe Nancy Brophy purchased a Glock 17 Gen4 gun at a gun show, then bought a Glock 17 slide and barrel on Ebay. Detectives suspect that Nancy Brophy removed the original slide and barrel from the gun show gun, replaced it with the slide and barrel purchased on Ebay, shot her husband, then replaced the Ebay slide and barrel with the original.

“Thus being able to present a new, fully intact firearm to police that would not be a match to the shell casings left at the crime scene,” according to court documents.

Detectives have not recovered the slide and barrel purchased on Ebay.

Court documents state Nancy Brophy was a romance novelist who had written an article titled, “How to Murder Your Husband,” which detectives said included details about how she thinks about murder frequently and her knowledge of police procedure.

Additionally, Daniel and Nancy Brophy’s shared iTunes account included a saved article titled, “10 Ways to Cover Up a Murder,” according to court documents.

Investigators said Daniel Brophy was first shot in the back, and then again at close range. There was no evidence of a struggle, according to court documents, and detectives said robbery did not appear to be a motive in this case.

The bail hearing for Nancy Brophy is scheduled to take place Tuesday morning.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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