Heidi Joy Tretheway was surprised when she found out that a romance writer had been arrested for allegedly killing her husband – and she knew exactly who it was. Tretheway shared her shock at seeing Nancy Crampton Brophy’s mugshot on the news. Crampton Brophy, an Oregon writer who meticulously planned her husband’s murder before turning it into a real-life story, is now the focus of a true-crime podcast on Wondery called “Happily Never After: Dan & Nancy,” which is hosted by Tretheway, who was once part of the same writing circle as Crampton Brophy. The podcast features new interviews with people who knew Crampton Brophy over the years.

Tretheway recounted her experience with Crampton Brophy, who was the president of the Rose City Romance Writers when she joined the group in 2013. She described Crampton Brophy as someone who sought attention and liked being in the spotlight. Despite initial criticism from Crampton Brophy regarding her book, Tretheway made the suggested changes and went on to achieve commercial success with the book. The shocking aspect of the crime was highlighted by the fact that Crampton Brophy never mentioned any issues in her marriage, and she appeared to have a loving relationship with her husband, Dan Brophy.

The prosecution alleged that Crampton Brophy’s motive for the murder was financial gain, as she stood to benefit significantly from her husband’s life insurance policy and the ownership of their home. However, witnesses testified about the couple’s strong and loving relationship, challenging the prosecution’s claims of financial difficulties. Crampton Brophy was ultimately found guilty of second-degree murder in 2022 and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Tretheway speculated on whether Crampton Brophy’s desperation stemmed from her lack of success as a writer and financial struggles. She questioned whether Crampton Brophy truly loved her husband and pondered if she believed she could engineer the perfect crime and evade capture. Despite reaching out to Crampton Brophy through a letter, Tretheway received no response.

The story of Nancy Crampton Brophy serves as a cautionary tale of how a seemingly successful and charming individual can be capable of heinous acts. It underscores the importance of looking beyond appearances and delving deeper into the complexities of human behavior. “Happily Never After: Dan & Nancy” provides a comprehensive look at the case, shedding light on the dark motivations and consequences of a crime that shocked many.