September 12, 2018

"In 'The Wrong Cop,' she wrote about a woman who 'spent every day of her marriage fantasizing about killing' her husband."

"In 'The Wrong Husband,' a woman tried to flee an abusive husband by faking her death.'And in '“How to Murder Your Husband' — an essay — [Nancy] Crampton Brophy... describ[ed] five core motives and a number of murder weapons from which she would choose if her character were to kill a husband in a romance novel. She advised against hiring a hit-man to do the dirty work — 'an amazing number of hit men rat you out to the police' — and against hiring a lover. 'Never a good idea.' Poison, not advised either. 'Who wants to hang out with a sick husband?'... '[I]f the murder is supposed to set me free, I certainly don’t want to spend any time in jail.'"

From "Novelist who wrote about ‘How to Murder Your Husband’ charged with murdering her husband" (WaPo). The husband, Daniel Brophy, "was fatally shot at his workplace at the Oregon Culinary Institute," where he was "a beloved chef."

We're told "Police had no description of the suspect." So why was Crampton Brody suspected, other than because one always suspects the spouse and because of her fiction-writing? She's supposed to have shown up in his workplace with a gun and shot him? Is the idea that it was her because she's known to deviously work out murder plots, and shooting the husband in his workplace — where people would notice and recognize her — could be what a devious murderer might do to avoid suspicion (as long as you don't get recognized by anyone)?

The judge sealed the probable cause affidavit, and police wouldn't discuss the case with WaPo.

Crampton Brophy was married to her husband for 27 years, and she wrote about it on her blog:
“My husband and I are both on our second (and final — trust me!) marriage. We vowed, prior to saying ‘I do,’ that we would not end in divorce. We did not, I should note, rule out a tragic drive-by shooting or a suspicious accident.” At the end of the post, she said she loved “the way he can make me laugh when I’m really angry,” and “how, when I least expect it, he can say the perfect thing.”

“But one last word of caution,” she wrote, “if I ever take a swan-dive off a high building, investigate. Investigate. Investigate.”
Comments at WaPo take the cue from the headline to make light of the death and the suspicion of the wife. "Best headline since Headless Body Found in Topless Bar," says the most-liked comment.

Somebody else uses the story as one more opportunity to hate-fantasize about Trump: "It always hits the wrong one! With that paranoid look and marital intentions, Nancy Crampton Brophy would no doubt have made the ideal 3rd. [sic] wife of the Lunatic-in-Chief."

While I'm disapproving of comments, let me show favor for: "Did she have writers glock?"

ADDED: Can you write books in prison? Oh, yes! Some of the greatest writing (and some of the most infamous writing) in the history of the world has been done in prison:
... Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy (524 AD)... Marco Polo... Miguel de Cervantes... Sir Walter Raleigh compiled his History of the World, Volume 1 in a prison chamber in the Tower of London, but he was only able to complete Volume 1 before he was executed. Hugo Grotius wrote his commentary on St. Matthew while in prison (1618-21), from which he escaped while hidden in a chest of books... John Bunyan wrote The Pilgrim's Progress (1678) while in jail. Martin Luther translated the New Testament into German while held at Wartburg Castle. Marquis de Sade wrote prolifically during an 11-year period in the Bastille, churning out 11 novels, 16 novellas, two volumes of essays, a diary and 20 plays.

Napoleon Bonaparte dictated his memoir while imprisoned on St. Helena island; it would become one of the best sellers of the 19th century. Fyodor Dostoevsky spent four years of hard labor in a Siberian prison camp for his membership in a liberal intellectual group from which he produced the autobiographical novel The House of the Dead; it was one of the first books to inform Russians about life inside an exile labor camp. Oscar Wilde wrote the philosophical essay "De Profundis" while in Reading Gaol...

E. E. Cummings 1922 autobiographical novel The Enormous Room was written while imprisoned by the French during World War I on the charges of expressing anti-war sentiments in private letters home. Adolf Hitler wrote his autobiographical and political ideology book Mein Kampf while he was imprisoned after the Beer Hall Putsch in November 1923. The Italian Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci wrote much of his work while imprisoned by the fascist government of Mussolini during the 1930s; this was later published as Prison Notebooks, and contained his influential theory of cultural hegemony. In 1942 Jean Genet wrote his first novel Our Lady of the Flowers while in prison near Paris, scrawled on scraps of paper. O. Henry (William Sidney Porter) wrote 14 stories while in prison for embezzlement, and it was during this time that his pseudonym "O. Henry" began to stick.... Albert Speer wrote his two memoirs Inside the Third Reich and Spandau: The Secret Diaries while incarcerated at Spandau prison....
Prison inspires writing. It enables writing.

But can you blog in prison? Yes, but not really. What I'm seeing is that you'd have to use the method of mailing your writing to someone on the outside, and that person would transfer the material onto a blog they've set up for you. That is, you need an intermediary, and, without the immediacy and the ability to cut and paste and to link and interact with people in real time, I don't think what you are doing is really blogging. That is to say, if I became a prisoner, this blog would either end or turn into something that doesn't fit my definition of a blog. And if I'm ever arrested, the previous sentence could be used as evidence for or against me, and so would this one.

84 comments:

richlb said...

Sharon Stone was not available for comment.

JPS said...

“The other day my girlfriend says to me, If you could know how and when you were going to die, would you want to?

“I said no.

“She said, OK, never mind.”

- Steven Wright

Humperdink said...

"The husband, Daniel Brophy, "was fatally shot at his workplace at the Oregon Culinary Institute," where he was "a beloved chef."

Nothing more than workplace violence.

she said she loved “the way he can make me laugh when I’m really angry,”

Boy, that statement is non-operative in this case.

Forensic Files here we come.

Rory said...

So...she's single now?

tim in vermont said...

It's the crazy jealous sister. We have all seen this movie.

Bob Loblaw said...

Somebody else uses the story as one more opportunity to hate-fantasize about Trump: "It always hits the wrong one! With that paranoid look and marital intentions, Nancy Crampton Brophy would no doubt have made the ideal 3rd. [sic] wife of the Lunatic-in-Chief."

It's weird how many people will take any random bit of news and use it to let everyone know just how much they don't like the president. Trump is like the ex they could never get over.

Ann Althouse said...

You're married to a chef. That means, probably, he cooks great food for you. Don't kill him! Why would you kill him? Even if you get away with it, now you'll have to do your own cooking. More work, and it won't be as good.

But maybe he doesn't cook at home or you don't like his cooking. That could be enraging.

David Begley said...

Memo to Nancy. Divorce is cheaper than defending a murder trial and not nearly as traumatic. Your liberty is lost. And as Ann noted, the food is really bad in The Big House.

The Vault Dweller said...

Society is much less opposed to violence against men, especially if it done by a woman. I don't think anyone advocates it, but they certainly are more willing to see humor in situations of female on male violence, than the reverse, or of male on male violence. I'm reminded of the Lorena Bobbit incident, which was really a horrifying display of violence, but never the less fueled endless jokes.

I also recall about a decade ago, hearing on a morning light talk/music station, of a story of a Wisconsin man who was trapped in a motel room by 3 women who he had been having sexual relationships with at the same time. They tied him up to the bed naked and superglued his penis to his body. The story came up because it was viewed as funny presumably, and the women ended up not serving any jail time. To which the women hosts of the show seemed to agree with suggesting he got was he deserved by cheating on all three women. And the male host asked, what would you expect to happen if it had been three men getting revenge on the one woman sleeping with all of them? I suspect years in prison.

For what it is worth I think society cares the second least about female on female violence. I think society just emotionally views women as incapable of committing serious harm.

Ann Althouse said...

Another idea for my "unwritten books" file:

The woman is married to a chef. In the press, he's called "a beloved chef." But when he comes home, he doesn't want to cook. He cooks for everyone but her, and when she subtly and not-so-subtly leans on him to demonstrate his lovableness through food for her (as he does for his culinary institute students), what he makes is perfunctory, almost deliberately bad. Develop the food/sex and the food/love parallels. Etc. etc. She shoots him... right in the workplace. Describe lots of food along the way. Make her a murder/romance writer with a blog. Write the book in the form of blog posts. Make it so the reader slowly sees that she actually does mean to kill him. He can be a commenter on her blog posts. He never picks up that she's going to kill him, even as the reader can see it plainly. Readers are lured into loving him, then actually hating him too. In the end, she's blogging from prison, but she doesn't really think this prison-blogging method of trying to blog even counts as a blog. That's her one regret.

Ann Althouse said...

You got me. Right in the workplace.

Ann Althouse said...

"And as Ann noted, the food is really bad in The Big House."

Actually, I hadn't said that yet, but I should have. Thanks for pointing it out. I had her getting away with it and having to cook for herself. But maybe you were seeing her "cooking for herself" in the form of having kitchen duty in prison.

donald said...

I dated a chef for a while. The last thing she wanted to do at home was cook.

David Begley said...

Most criminal aren’t very smart; including Hillary. Do you think Michael Corelone would have run such a slip-shod operation with a private server?

But Hillary was like the Don in that she had the cops in her pocket.

Karen of Texas said...

Has anyone heard from Meade lately?

David Begley said...

Notice to Ann and all beloved commentators.

Since Althouse has been recognized on Fox as a FAMOUS blogger, bring your “A” game today for the influx of visitors.

Laslo: Try to semi-behave.

David Begley said...

Karen

Maybe he’s on a camping trip. By himself. Wife hates to travel. Lots of digging in secluded backyard at Meadehouse recently.

Ralph L said...

Don't instructor chefs bring quizzes home for grading? The reverse lunch box.

No "Letters from a Birmingham Jail."

Racist! or was that a fraud?

The Vault Dweller said...

I wonder why the probable cause affidavit was sealed? Maybe a nosy neighbor or a suspicious friend decided to investigate the author on their own? Maybe that person broke into the author's house to snoop around? Or maybe the good Chef was raising someone else's souffle, while author's was left sad, and deflated at home?

Shouting Thomas said...

Wait a minute!

That's not funny!

In my capacity as spokesman for all men, I take offense on behalf of all men.

No laughing!

David Begley said...

Glynn

Bill McGurn of the WSJ mentioned Ann. Check the FOX NEWS website for s clip.

The day Fox and Limbaugh mention you, then you can quit your day job at the Boone County Gazette.

rehajm said...

It seems simpler. So much of humanity was moved by Too Many Cooks. She took it literally.

Ralph L said...

A Murder is Announced comes to life. (Agatha Christie Miss Marple novel)

All the thought she's put into it and she still gets caught.

Bob Boyd said...

The silversmith eats with a wooden spoon...is the old saying.

Bill Peschel said...

The same commenters probably loved the mob -- many of them members of the blue checkmark mob -- that drove Denise McAllister into hiding after making an anti-abortion tweet: https://pjmedia.com/trending/threats-of-rape-and-strangling-force-d-c-mcallister-into-hiding-after-anti-abortion-tweet/

(This came up in my feed just before Ann's post, so I'm grumpier about the Post commenters joking about murder.)

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Make her a murder/romance writer with a blog. Write the book in the form of blog posts. Make it so the reader slowly sees that she actually does mean to kill him. He can be a commenter on her blog posts. He never picks up that she's going to kill him, even as the reader can see it plainly.

Note to Meade: Get out. NOW.

Virgil Hilts said...

only one way I know of to get away with murdering your spouse; make sure you both have a lot to drink, then do something precarious - a hike over steep trail -- in an area with no witnesses. I read about cases like this from time to time. In Arizona there was a famous one about 25 years ago where a 35 year old man married a 60+ year old woman with tons of money. They camped next to a lake, got drunk and then both went for a swim at around 2am. Next thing you know he is crying and screaming that he can't find his wife... Many suspected premeditated murder, but not enough evidence to bring charges. You'd think an author like this one could have planned out something like that.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

donald said...

I dated a chef for a while. The last thing she wanted to do at home was cook.

I had the same issue dating a prostitute.

She never wanted to cook.

David Begley said...

Real Omaha murder case at the link. Woman found guilty of murdering romantic rival. No body ever found. Victim was missing for a long time. Murderer impersonated her on social media and in other ways. Waiting for the opinion affirming the conviction.

http://www.omaha.com/news/courts/woman-convicted-of-killing-impersonating-romantic-rival-asks-nebraska-supreme/article_104e6d58-6918-5fda-930c-d79d938ae511.html

Virgil Hilts said...

Whoops - really mis-remembered some of the facts on that one. https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Margaret-Lesher-The-final-humiliation-3091737.php

Bob Boyd said...

@ Virgil Hilts

There's a Montana woman who took her husband hiking in Glacier park a couple years ago and pushed him off a cliff. She's in prison now.

Remember that movie 'Body Heat'? I always liked the scene where William Hurt is getting the arson set-up from Mickey Rourke.

Mickey Rourke says, "I got a serious question for you: What the fuck are you doing? This is not shit for you to be messin' with. Are you ready to hear something? I want you to see if this sounds familiar: any time you try a decent crime, you got fifty ways you're gonna fuck up. If you think of twenty-five of them, then you're a genius... and you ain't no genius. You remember who told me that?"

David Begley said...

We must have proof of Meade’s life!

My first suggestion is that Robert Mueller investigate. Althouse may have read a Russian novel at some point in her life. Mueller was a Marine and he’s surely billing at $700 per hour so it will be wrapped up in 2020.

The cheaper and quicker solution is that a Madison person meet Althouse and Meade (if he is still alive) at a coffee shop this PM. Time stamped photos are a must. Madison person needs to pull on Meade’s face to make sure Althouse hasn’t used one of those Mission Impossible rubber face masks on Tom Cruise who is pretending to be Meade. Even with this method, I would still have my doubts as Althouse was a law professor and probably knows lots of tricks!

Andrew said...

Great minds think alike. I see other commenters have expressed concern for Meade. This blog post reads as a prophetic confession of sorts.

Virgil Hilts said...

Bob Boyd - I love that scene. For a while I tried to memorize that line (the same way people would memorize the Dirty Harry "Did he fire six shots or only five" monologue). I remember the Montana case; it was an amazing story. The wife failed to check to see if her husband had survived and could not keep her lies straight when she talked to the cops. She was convicted based on her own incompetence.

Andrew said...

And Ann, if you're reading, don't do it. Please don't. "Fire him. Pay him off. But don't kill him."

At the very least, think of your readers. Your blog will not be the same if you're in prison. And I'd have a hard time reading it.

***

Bonus points to anyone who gets the quoted reference. It's from a TV show. It may not be verbatim.

Shane said...

Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon were written by the apostle Paul during his jailing.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Top chefs, especially those who become famous, are notorious for being annoying divas. Pricks with giant egos.

Writers who also become famous are known for the same Diva like qualities.

The marriage of two narcisistic egocentric people is bound to be volatile.

She won...sort of.

Henry said...

Marrying a chef because you'll get great meals is like marrying Curt Cobain so he can sing you happy birthday.

My name goes here. said...

Ann said...
"You're married to a chef. That means, probably, he cooks great food for you. Don't kill him! Why would you kill him? Even if you get away with it, now you'll have to do your own cooking. More work, and it won't be as good."

It does not work that way.

I never knew a landscaper whose grass was cut.
I never knew a mechanic whose car ran right.
I bet if I knew a cobbler, his children would not have shoes.

The last thing this guy did when he got home was cook.

Henry said...

donald said...

I dated a chef for a while. The last thing she wanted to do at home was cook.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I had the same issue dating a prostitute.

She never wanted to cook.

* * *

Not even puttanesca?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I dated a chef for a while. The last thing she wanted to do at home was cook.

This reminds me of a quote that I heard long ago. I want to attribute it to Dorothy Parker, but I can't remember the exact wording. Maybe someone here can help my failing synapses

It goes something like this.

When her husband was complaining about things in the marriage (particularly cooking/housekeeping) she replied.

I can only excel in one room. The kitchen or the bedroom. You pick.

Made me laugh.

William said...

On the plus side, this should help book sales, and she has great material for her next book.

William said...

Just as a matter of aesthetics and poetic justice, I would recommend poisoning if you want to off a master chef. She could cook an extremely special meal for hubby to thank him for all the joy he has brought into her life. When he asks about the subtly bitter aftertaste in the sweetbreads, she can tell him that that's arsenic, motherfucker, and you're going to die. The last sound he hears is her cackling like Hillary........Asia Argento should option the rights to this story.

The Crack Emcee said...

Don't forget MLK's complaints, about white friends, from a Birmingham Jail.

They were written in jail.

Roger Sweeny said...

You're married to a chef. That means, probably, he cooks great food for you. Don't kill him!

As many people have pointed out, perhaps he says, "I cook all day. The last thing I want to do when I get home is cook." To which one reaction is, "You cook great food for strangers all day, and for me, nothing? What does that say about me?"

Clyde said...

Oh, for heaven's sake? She writes two books about how to get rid of a husband and then she shoots her husband the chef? No, no, a thousand times no! The obvious demise is some kind of poison in the food he's preparing! Maybe toxic fugu fish or something? But shooting him shows a distinct lack of imagination on her part. And her, a writer!

Bay Area Guy said...

This woman sounds cray-cray! Never marry a crazy woman. Indeed, never sleep with a crazy woman.

gilbar said...

there's a country song called You Better Dig Two by The Band Perry, where the girl sings on and (and On and ON) about how much she loves the guy and how he'll be The Only One in her life, and how their love will last until the day they day...
By the second verse, you realize that she's Explicitly Saying that the day he cheats on her will be the day of the murder suicide. It's SO Romantic!
Sounds like this book writer was a country fan

Bob Boyd said...

"All women are crazy. You'll find one you think isn't, but guess what? She will be too." - Cormac McCarthy

gilbar said...

their love will last until the day they die...

Shouting Thomas said...

Don't forget MLK's complaints, about white friends, from a Birmingham Jail.

Blackety-Blackety-Black-Black-Black.

The world would be a better place if you shut up about this shit, Crack.

Would improve your life, too, but you seem determined to wallow in shit.

You're not even one of the Professional Blacks who know how to scam money out of this bullshit. You missed the boat. You're incompetent even in scamming.

James K said...

“I dated a chef for a while. The last thing she wanted to do at home was cook.”

Maybe it’s like doctors not treating family members—too much emotional involvement.

lgv said...

Ann Althouse said...
"You're married to a chef. That means, probably, he cooks great food for you. Don't kill him! Why would you kill him? Even if you get away with it, now you'll have to do your own cooking."

She will not have to cook now. It will be scooped onto her metal plate for her.

"the way he can make me laugh sometimes when I’m really angry,”

Fixed it for her.

narciso said...

Souza certainly did some good research during that hiatus bhaara assigned him.

Ron said...

Careful Bloggeress...

Retweet and Reload only SOUND similar....very different things!

narciso said...

There was Michael Petersen who wrote two booms about Vietnam (the last one was half about iran) and he killed his wife.z

Meade said...

Has anyone heard from Meade lately?

HALP! I M TRaPPed N A FAMUS BLOGGer's mODerASHUn PayJ. SND NANo FURST-ReSPOndERS!

Big Mike said...

You're married to a chef. That means, probably, he cooks great food for you. Don't kill him! Why would you kill him? Even if you get away with it, now you'll have to do your own cooking. More work, and it won't be as good.

She decided to surprise him one day by cooking lasagna while he was at work so he could come home to a hot meal.

And he criticized its texture and remarked on the lack of proper seasoning.

Guys, NEVER criticize your wife's lasagna!

gerry said...

HALP! I M TRaPPed N A FAMUS BLOGGer's mODerASHUn PayJ. SND NANo FURST-ReSPOndERS!

Thanks for an LOL! Now back to work.

RigelDog said...

{{ there's a country song called You Better Dig Two by The Band Perry }}

God do I hate that song. It's celebrating a crazy evil woman, AND it's dull and repetitive. How the hell did it get to be a hit? It's from a sub-genre of country music that approve of women being violent towards cheating men, such as Carrie Underwood's (maybe next time he'll think) Before He Cheats.

Ann Althouse said...

"No "Letters from a Birmingham Jail.""

That's not a whole book. Another thing is Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience" — again not an entire book. Also, I was less interested in writings that were about the prison experience rather than a writer able to use the confinement to do writing he might be able to do on the outside but never get around to.

buwaya said...

It would be a refreshing change of pace if a black guy were to write about China, say, from inside a Chinese prison. Sort of like the African from Togo who wrote about his life in Greenland, but not from inside a Danish-Greenland prison in that case.

Though its an interesting idea. I wonder what you have to do to get sent to prison in Greenland.

Try a new subject.

Ann Althouse said...

"“I dated a chef for a while. The last thing she wanted to do at home was cook.”

Like that Seinfeld episode where he was dating a massage therapist.

Amadeus 48 said...

Meade--Just focus on your beloved, beautiful wife, and you can get through this. She is patiently waiting for you, I am sure.

DON'T PANIC!

reader said...

Years ago in a conversation with my husband and father-in-law the observation was made that the best way to murder a spouse is probably on a cruise. My husband told me then that if he ever booked us on a cruise I should be wary.

Since that time when we have a day where we just aren't getting along, he will reference taking a vacation (… maybe a cruise? Doesn't that sound nice?). We will both start laughing.

When I am angry at him he will start running a bit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I can't not laugh. It must be a "me" thing because my first boyfriend did the same thing. But don't tell my husband...he might book us on a cruise.

Yancey Ward said...

Althouse, at Picnic Point, with the cheese spreader.

John Lynch said...

Was in a writing group with a woman whose husband hired a hitman to kill her.

She killed the hitman.

With a hammer.

She's writing a book about it.

tcrosse said...

Carol Leifer did a bit about an unfortunate woman married to a gynecologist, who couldn't get him Interested in her.

tcrosse said...

My wife's uncle offered to put a hit out on her first husband. She refused, but had to think about it.

Andrew said...

Who is dumb enough to hire a hit man these days? Aren't you guaranteed to be hiring either an undercover detective or a psycho Soldier of Fortune wannabe?

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gilbar said...

RigelDog said: about a not particularly good song:
It's celebrating a crazy evil woman, AND it's dull and repetitive.

And she's letting herself be defined by A MAN!
in a GOOD song celebrating a crazy evil woman (like, for instance: Kerosene);
the crazy evil woman burns The MAN (and his new girl) up in a cleansing fire of fire... Then Walks Away

robother said...

JPS: "“The other day my girlfriend says to me, If you could know how and when you were going to die, would you want to?"

The only worse response I can think of is (to quote Yogi Berra's response to his wife's asking which of his 3 home cities he wanted to be buried in): "Surprise me."

Howard said...

Blogger John Lynch said...

Was in a writing group with a woman whose husband hired a hitman to kill her.

She killed the hitman.

With a hammer.

She's writing a book about it.


Did she reconcile with her husband?

tcrosse said...

Did she reconcile with her husband?

Did her husband get his money back?

Mark Jones said...

John Lynch--I read the (much longer, more in-depth) Willamette Week article about Susan Walters and her adventure with the would-be hitman. It was fascinating. She is (or was) a nurse and more than once since, when threatened by an angry patient she's told them, "You should Google me first."

Sammy Finkelman said...

>> Most criminal aren’t very smart; including Hillary. Do you think Michael Corelone would have run such a slip-shod operation with a private server?

She had the private server so she wouldn't inadvertantly leave something incriminating in government records.

Where she slipped up was in requesting that ALL "work-related" = undeleted emails be released, to try to show how open she supposedly was. That's what caused areview of all her emails sent over her substitute for state.gov

Now whenever a mass release of records is requested they get reviewed for classification and invariably some are deemed classified.

If anybody else's "unclassified" emails had been reviewed, they'd have found the same things.

And let's not say she thought up all these "brilliant" ideas by herself. There's Bill,and otehrs.

donald said...

She had a rose bush tattoo on her back and weighed about 90 pounds. I was all about picking up dinner.

Char Char Binks said...

Eat, Shit, Shoot, Kill

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Asia Argento.

Bob Loblaw said...

Was in a writing group with a woman whose husband hired a hitman to kill her.

She killed the hitman.


If you want something done right...

John Lynch said...

Howard:

No, she didn't.

DavidD said...

Meade,

You forgot “signed, me, M-M-Meade.”

mezzrow said...

Has anyone said that Virna Lisi sprang to mind while reading this? That was then, this is now. Caption this comment under "pining for the sixties".

Rob McLean said...

"Crampton Brophy" sounds like one of those prog-rock groups from the 70s.