Murder mystery-writer wife charged in chef’s murder

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The murder mystery-writing wife of a slain culinary instructor was arrested and charged with his June 2 murder.

Nancy L. Crampton Brophy, 68, was arrested on September 5 and booked for the murder of her husband, Daniel Brophy, an instructor at the Oregon Culinary Institute. She made her first court appearance in Multnomah County Thursday afternoon.

Judge John Wittmayer ordered the probable cause affidavit remain sealed due to the ongoing investigation.

Brophy, who was 63, was found shot to death when students arrived at OCI that morning.

Crampton Brophy was also charged with unlawful use of a weapon.

Nancy Brophy made this public Facebook post after Dan was found dead. 

The day after his death, Nancy posted on her Facebook saying in part, “My husband and best friend, Chef Dan Brophy was killed yesterday morning. For those of you who are close to me and feel this deserved a phone call, you are right, but I[m struggling to make sense of everything right now.”

According to her website, Nancy is a writer who has published a number of books. Among the titles: “The Wrong Series” –The Wrong Cop, The Wrong Husband, The Wrong Seal, The Wrong Lover, The Wrong Hero, plus other titles such as  Hell on the Heart, The Girl Most Likely To

In her “About Me” page, she references Brophy multiple times — describing the moment she knew he was “Mr. Right”:

“I can’t tell you when I fell in love with my husband, but I relate the moment I decided to marry him. I was in the bath. It was a big tub. I expected him to join me and when he was delayed, I called out, “Are you coming?”

“His answer convinced me he was Mr. Right. “Yes, but I’m making hors d’oeuvres.” Can you imagine spending the rest of your life without a man like that?

“Like all marriages, we’ve had our ups and downs, more good times than bad. Most recently we have spent fourteen nail-biting months living in an apartment while our house was rebuilt from a house-fire.”

After his death, many students reached out to KOIN 6 News to share what Brophy meant to them and explaining how he single-handedly changed the way they look at food.

“Never in a million years we thought it would be his wife,” former OCI student Travis Richartz told KOIN 6 News. “We thought a former student or someone had it out against him.” 

Richartz said Crampton Brophy was at the candlelight vigil and cried telling stories about her husband.

“The fact that she was there, knowing that she may have committed the crime is kind of sickening, that she would even show up at the place,” Richartz said. 

Neighbors told KOIN 6 News if there were troubles in the marriage, they never knew it. 

“I think it’s a surprise to everyone in the neighborhood,” Jeff Hutchinson said. 

In the months since Brophy’s death, neighbors said Crampton Brophy kept busy preparing to move.

“She never showed that she was really upset but nobody dwelled on the subject, you kind of just get in and get out,” Don McConell said. 

McConell shares a fence with her but only had a “hi and bye” relationship with his neighbor.

“I got the nerve up to ask her ‘well have you heard anything?’ and she said ‘No I’m out of the loop’ and I said ‘What do you mean?’ and she said ‘They consider me a suspect,'” McConell said. 

Read more student tributes to Brophy 

Both former and current students of the Oregon Culinary Institute are remembering Chef Daniel Brophy as an amazing teacher and overall person.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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