In her 2011 essay “How to Murder Your Husband,” romantic-thriller author Nancy Crampton Brophy listed five possible reasons why a wife might kill her spouse.

No. 1 was money. The next, she wrote, he’s a “lying, cheating bastard.” Third option, she continued, he “fell in love with someone else.” Fourth, as she put it, was “abuser.” And lastly, Nancy wrote, “It’s your profession,” as in you “possess both skill and knowledge” and “have the moral ambiguity necessary to carry it off.”

Prosecutors said No. 1 was the motive for Nancy when she shot and killed her husband of 27 years, Daniel Brophy, in 2018. And was it, ultimately, her profession?

“I spend a lot of time thinking about murder and, consequently, about police procedure,” Nancy, a self-published novelist, wrote in her now infamous essay. “After all, if the murder is supposed to set me free, I certainly don’t want to spend any time in jail.”

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