Romance novelist accused of murdering her chef husband

PORTLAND, Ore. — The wife of a chef shot to death in Portland earlier this year made her first court appearance Thursday.

Nancy Crampton Brophy was taken into custody at her Beaverton home Wednesday night in connection to her husband’s death. The 68-year-old woman, who is a romance novelist, is facing one charge of murder with a firearm constituting domestic violence, according to the district attorney’s office.

Her husband, 63-year-old Daniel Brophy, was killed in June at the Oregon Culinary Institute.

The day after Brophy’s death, Crampton Brophy posted a statement on Facebook: “I have sad news to relate. My husband and best friend, chef Dan Brophy, was killed yesterday morning. I’m struggling to make sense of everything right now. While I appreciate toy [sic] loving responses, I am overwhelmed.”

The day after Crampton Brophy posted to social media, she attended a vigil for Brophy and heard from many of his current and former students. In video from the vigil, Crampton Brophy can be seen standing in the far-left corner. She declined a request for an interview.

The news of Crampton Brophy’s arrest has shocked community members and neighbors, who described the couple as “quiet”.

“Never really saw them together very often,” one neighbor said.

While Brophy taught classes at OCI, Crampton Brophy worked from home. She is the author of several romance novels, including one called “The Wrong Husband”. On her website, she relays stories about her marriage, calling Brophy “Mr. Right”.

Police have not released a motive in the case.

Despite a motion to have Crampton Brophy released on her own recognizance, the presiding judge determined there is enough probable cause to continue to hold Crampton Brophy in jail.

She is due in court again Sept. 17.

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