Ever since its premiere in 1992, ‘Dateline NBC’ has been an undeniable staple of the newsmagazine genre owing to the way it offers an honest look into some of the most compelling true-crime cases. Thus, of course, an episode in season 30, entitled ‘Murder in Kitchen One,’ that chronicles the sudden and truly horrific summer 2018 homicide of Daniel Brophy at his workplace, is no different. So, if you wish to learn more about the matter — with a particular focus on the cause of death, the identity of the cruel assailant, and their empty motives — we’ve got the details for you.
How Did Daniel Brophy Die?
At the age of 63, Daniel Craig Brophy could only be described as an active as well as devoted family man, chef and instructor, and community member when he suddenly lost his life. Not only was he satisfied residing in the Portland area by all accounts, but he also reportedly didn’t have any enemies, which is why the fact he was murdered came as a complete shock. It was the morning of June 2, 2018 (at nearly 8:30 am), when some of Daniel’s students found him lying unconscious on the floor in Kitchen One at the Oregon Culinary Institute in Southwest Portland, where he was supposed to give lectures.
According to the authorities, Daniel was shot twice in the back with a 9 mm pistol as he was preparing for the day ahead, and he died instantly since both bullets wound up piercing his heart. They theorized the chef never even saw the attack coming, meaning there was no way he could defend himself or fight for survival — it was likely intended by someone who knew his schedule. The problem, though, was that there was little to no recoverable evidence at the crime scene, and the OCI didn’t have any security cameras inside or outside the school either.
Who Killed Daniel Brophy?
Despite a lack of concrete facets, the officials soon zeroed in on Daniel’s wife, Nancy, a romance-suspense novelist who’d even penned an essay titled ‘How to Murder Your Husband’ in 2011. Aside from the eerily similar themes covered in the blog, this was also because of the possibly incriminating footage from a traffic camera as well as her alleged financial motives. As if that’s not enough, Nancy owned the same make and model of the gun used to slay her husband and had further bought an untraceable firearm kit from the internet weeks before the incident.
While surveillance footage clearly showed Nancy driving to and back from the culinary institute during the window of Daniel’s homicide, there was also the fact she stood to gain a lot from his demise. After all, she was the beneficiary of his multiple life insurance policies totaling roughly $1.2 million, and their $300,000 home would directly be hers as well, solving her financial distress. However, in court, the author contended she had no reason to harm Daniel, let alone kill him, especially as he had already cashed in a good chunk of his retirement savings to help out.
The investigators could never locate the murder weapon, yet because the signs only pointed toward Nancy no matter the angle they chose to explore, she was arrested in September 2018. Nevertheless, she ultimately testified her presence near her husband’s workplace on that fateful morning was a mere coincidence, much of which Nancy claims she doesn’t even remember because of the stress. In contrast to her previous statements telling detectives she was mostly at home around this period, Nancy declared she likely drove to the area on a coffee run or to take notes while working on her writing.
Nancy’s ‘How to Murder Your Husband’ essay was not admissible in court due to the fact it was written back in 2011, yet the prosecutors managed to work it in without directly naming or quoting it. Furthermore, during her trial, Nancy not only insisted that she and Daniel were happily married, but her defense also brought up the way his death could’ve been a result of just a robbery gone wrong. Eventually, despite her best efforts to maintain her innocence, Nancy Crampton-Brophy was found guilty of second-degree murder on May 25, 2022.
Read More: Where is Nancy Crampton-Brophy Now?