PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Thursday, June 2 will mark an anniversary. Not one to celebrate, but one to remember.
It will mark four years since Daniel Brophy, the beloved instructor, father, grandfather and son, was killed, shot twice in the chest in his kitchen at the Oregon Culinary Institute (OCI).
Wednesday, his killer, the one he vowed to share his life with, was convicted of his murder. Nancy Crampton Brophy drove to OCI that morning, killing Dan in a window fewer than 10 minutes between him arriving at work and his coworker finding him bleeding to death on the ground.
“We’ve all been waiting [four] years to start grieving this loss,” Nathaniel Stillwater, Dan’s son, said. “To finally have some closure has been very important and meaningful for our family so we can start to move on and always remember my father, but begin that process of trying to grieve.”
Stillwater held Karen Brophy’s hand, Dan’s mother, while speaking to the media Wednesday after the verdict was read. They had been at the nearly eight-week trial as many days as they could, even the ones where prosecutors warned them of gruesome testimony and pictures.
Karen Brophy says she’s thankful for how it turned out, particularly the testimony of the impact Dan Brophy had on the people around him.
“I feel like through the trial Portland has learned that our son was a great guy and we really miss him,” Karen said. “It’s been a heartwarming experience in that way to know how much people thought of him and what a great guy he really was.”
After hearing how many people Dan impacted, Karen learned how she was misled by his wife, Crampton Brophy.
In a rare move for defendants, Crampton Brophy testified in her trial, with infamous “memory holes” from the morning of the murder.
“I’ve had a struggle with believing Nancy. She was our daughter-in-law for a long time and when she was arrested, it was a great surprise to us until we found out she hasn’t been truthful with us either,” Karen said.
There isn’t much to celebrate, rather remember, Stillwater says of the anniversary of his father’s death. It is the first time they can mark the day with their father’s killer convicted, he says that is what they plan to do.
“I think it will be a good opportunity to remember the man that he was, the grandfather that he was, the father that he was,” Stillwater said.