PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Portland romance novelist Nancy Crampton Brophy, who was convicted in 2022 of murdering her husband, is the focus of a Lifetime dramatic crime movie that will be released Saturday.
The cable channel has titled the fictional film “How to Murder Your Husband: The Nancy Brophy Story.”
The film’s namesake comes from the title of an online essay Crampton Brophy published in 2011 called “How to Murder Your Husband.” She drafted the piece seven years before her husband, Chef Daniel Brophy, was found murdered inside the Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland.
He’d been shot twice through the heart.
Crampton Brophy was arrested in September 2018 on charges related to her husband’s murder. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her trial was delayed until spring 2022. A jury found her guilty of second-degree murder.
In the Lifetime film, Cybill Shepherd plays Nancy Crampton Brophy and Steve Guttenberg will play Daniel Brophy. Kate Mitchell will play Daniel’s mother Karen Brophy.
The film will be directed by Stephen Tolkin, a screenwriter known for working on crime dramas based on real events.
In the Lifetime description of the movie, the company says Crampton Brophy was a romance-thriller novelist who authored books about “relationships that were tumultuous, while using seductive men on the covers to lure in her readers. Often her books feature women protagonists who fantasized about killing their own husbands or fleeing their husbands and faking their own deaths.”
Crampton Brophy, who was 71 at the time of her trial, took the stand in her own defense during the trial that lasted about 7 weeks. Though her defense attorneys laid out the case that the prosecution only had circumstantial evidence to tie her to the killing, the jury found that evidence connected her to the murder beyond a reasonable doubt.
A key part of the trial was the gun Nancy Crampton Brophy owned.
Investigators say they never found the slide and barrel or gun that fired the two bullets that went through Daniel Brophy’s heart. Two casings were found near his body, but the slide and barrel from the handgun and ghost gun build kit found in Crampton Brophy’s possession did not leave markings on casings that matched those found at the scene.
However, Crampton Brophy admitted during the trial that she had purchased another slide and barrel. She said this gun part was for research and that it must have gone missing while people moved her belongings out of her house while she was in jail.
In their opening statement and closing arguments, prosecutors speculated that Crampton Brophy used a spare slide and barrel on another gun frame she possessed to commit the murder, then disposed of the slide and barrel to avoid it being found and used for evidence.
Detectives collected an assembled Glock 19 handgun and a Glock 17 ghost gun build kit from Crampton Brophy. They determined Brophy was killed by some sort of a Glock handgun.
After deliberating for about a day and a half, the jury unanimously agreed Nancy Crampton Brophy was guilty of the sole count she faced.