Wikipedia Encyclopedia

Pam Hupp

Pam Hupp

Pamela Marie Hupp (née Neumann; born October 10, 1958) is an American murderer serving a life sentence in Missouri's Chillicothe Correctional Center for the 2016 murder of Louis Gumpenberger in her O'Fallon, Missouri home. Hupp's claim that she had shot Gumpenberger (who had mental and physical disabilities) in self-defense after he pursued her into her home wielding a knife was not accepted by law enforcement. She ultimately entered an Alford guilty plea before charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action could go to trial.

Pam Hupp
Pamela Marie Neumann

(1958-10-10) October 10, 1958
OccupationLife insurance administrator (formerly)
Criminal statusIncarcerated
Spouse(s)Mark Hupp (divorced)
Criminal charge
PenaltyLife in prison without parole
VictimsLouis Gumpenberger, Betsy Faria, Shirley Neumann
DateAugust 16, 2016
Location(s)O'Fallon, Missouri, United States
WeaponsRuger LCR
Date apprehended
August 23, 2016
Imprisoned atChillicothe Correctional Center

Testimony from Hupp played a key role in the 2013 conviction of Russ Faria for the murder of his wife, Betsy Faria, who was stabbed to death in her home in Troy, Missouri, in 2011. After a successful appeal and second trial in 2015, Russ Faria was exonerated after his defense attorney was permitted to introduce evidence that was withheld from the original trial jury, some of which implicated Hupp as having killed Betsy Faria. Law enforcement have theorized that Hupp tricked Gumpenberger into entering her home and then murdered him in a failed attempt to frame Russ Faria. In July 2021, Hupp was charged with the first-degree murder of Betsy Faria.

Hupp has also been investigated in connection with the death of her mother, Shirley Neumann, who died in 2013 from injuries sustained in a fall from the balcony of her third-floor apartment in Fenton, Missouri. A tip-off to police accused Hupp of killing Neumann for financial gain. Neumann's death was initially ruled an accident, but in November 2017 the chief medical examiner for St. Louis County changed the cause of death to "undetermined", referencing the events in O'Fallon and Troy. An investigation into Neumann's death by the St. Louis County Police Department was inconclusive.

The killings of Betsy Faria and Louis Gumpenberger have been the subject of significant media coverage, including extensive reporting from the local Fox affiliate station KTVI in St. Louis and five Dateline NBC episodes airing from 2014 to 2019, as well as a Dateline NBC true crime podcast. A scripted television series featuring actress Renée Zellweger as Hupp, The Thing About Pam, premiered on NBC in March–April 2022.

Prior life

Born on October 10, 1958,[1] Pamela Marie Neumann grew up in Dellwood, Missouri, a St. Louis suburb, where she attended Riverview Gardens High School.

Hupp held several jobs in the life insurance industry; on two occasions, she was fired for forging signatures. In 2001, she and her husband settled in O'Fallon, where she worked as an administrator for State Farm and flipped houses on the side. By 2010, Hupp had stopped working and was claiming disability benefits for back, leg, and neck pain.[2][3]

In 2011, Hupp and Betsy Faria, a friend terminally ill with cancer, reportedly collected money for a family also impacted by cancer. Fox 2 News found several years later that the family did not know about the collection; information was presented to Lincoln County authorities in 2014, but was not investigated further. There was no evidence to suggest Faria knew the fundraiser was questionable, with her friends recalling that she said she was excited to be helping a struggling family, even though she herself was dying. One of them, Kathleen Meyer, said, "This was going to be a legacy for her, to leave something like this behind in her memory."[4]

Death of Betsy Faria

Elizabeth "Betsy" Kay Meyer Faria was a coworker of Hupp at State Farm. She lived in Troy, Missouri, with her husband, Russell "Russ" Scott Faria, and two daughters from a previous relationship.[5] In 2010, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. In October 2011, she learned the cancer had metastasized to her liver[6] and was terminal.[7]

On December 22, 2011, days before her death and unbeknownst to her family, Faria changed the sole beneficiary of her $150,000 (equivalent to $181,000 in 2021) State Farm life insurance policy from her husband to Hupp, who originally said that Faria had asked her to give the money to her daughters when they were older. Later she said Faria had wanted her to keep the money for herself.[8] Betsy Faria's daughters launched a legal challenge against Hupp and her husband to attempt to claim the life insurance policy in 2014 which was dismissed in 2016;[9][10][11] Russ launched his own legal challenge against State Farm in 2016.[12] Hupp admitted that she had lied about what she intended to do with the life insurance proceeds.[13] Prosecutors later speculated that Faria's husband had been angered by her actions, giving him a motive to kill her.[5] Russ remained the beneficiary on a separate $100,000 (equivalent to $120,000 in 2021) policy.[14]

Five days later on December 27, 2011, Faria underwent chemotherapy at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center and then visited her mother's house, after which she was driven home by Hupp, the last confirmed person to have seen her alive.[2][6] Faria had originally been scheduled to be driven home by her husband Russ or stay with her mom until Hupp unexpectedly drove to her mother's house and insisted on driving her home.[15] Hupp claimed that she had dropped Faria off at approximately 7 p.m.[14] At approximately 7:21 p.m., a call to Faria from one of her daughters went unanswered.[16] Russ Faria spent the evening at his friend Michael Corbin's home watching films from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m., then drove to an Arby's in Lake St. Louis before returning home.[2][17][18] At 9:40 p.m., Russ called 9-1-1 saying that he had returned to his home to find his wife had killed herself.[5][14] Betsy had been stabbed over 55 times with her wrists cut to the bone and a serrated kitchen knife left lodged in her neck.[19][20] A second knife was found under a pillow on the couch she was lying on.[17] First responders arrived within 10 minutes and concluded that Betsy Faria had been dead for at least an hour and likely longer.[21] Faria's time of death was later reported as being between 7:20 p.m. and 9:41 p.m..[18]

Conviction of Russ Faria

Russ was arrested the day after his wife's death.[17] His initial assertion that Betsy had killed herself was considered "ludicrous" by first responders who saw her body. A police search of the house unearthed a bloodstained pair of slippers in his closet. Russ's volatile emotional state was regarded as "suspicious" by police, and he ostensibly failed a polygraph test. When interviewed by police, Hupp claimed that Russ Faria had a "violent temper", that he was a heavy drinker, that he had threatened Betsy, who had been considering leaving him.[2] At Hupp's behest, police searched Betsy's laptop and found a document in which she purportedly expressed fears that her husband would kill her.[lower-alpha 1][2][22] On January 4, 2012, the day after Betsy's funeral, Russ was charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.[6] Unable to make $250,000 bail (equivalent to $295,000 in 2021), he was held in the county jail until his trial began on November 18, 2013.[21]

During Russ Faria's trial, his defense attorney, Joel Schwartz, argued that the testimonies of the four friends he had visited, cellphone records evidencing his presence at his friend's house 20 miles away from the murder scene, and evidence of him making purchases from different stores over the course of the evening demonstrated that the timeline did not allow for him to commit the murder. There were no traces of blood on his body or clothes. Prosecuting attorney Leah Askey countered that Russ Faria's friends were providing a false alibi and had conspired with him to perpetrate the murder – including holding onto his cellphone and posing as him to buy food at an Arby's to falsify his whereabouts – as an "ultimate role play".[18] The trial judge, Chris Mennemeyer, refused to allow Schwartz to present evidence implicating Hupp as an alternative suspect,[15] including cellphone records showing she had been in the vicinity of the Faria house for up to 30 minutes after the time she claimed to have dropped her off[14] or that Betsy had made Hupp the sole beneficiary of the life insurance policy shortly before her death.[7][23] In a secret hearing during the trial, Hupp claimed that she had put $100,000 of the insurance money in a trust for Faria's daughters; in a July 2014 civil deposition she admitted she had not done so.[24]

On November 21, 2013, Russ Faria was convicted on both counts.[19] A month later, he was sentenced to life plus 30 years imprisonment without possibility of parole and sent to the Jefferson City Correctional Center.[5] Although a central premise of the prosecution's case was that his four friends had been complicit in the murder, no charges were ever brought against them;[15] they were not aware they had been implicated by Askey in her closing arguments until the media informed them.[25] The sentence was welcomed by Betsy Faria's family; in an interview given following the sentencing her sister, Julie Swaney, made claims unheard during the trial that Russ Faria had been angered by the removal of his name from a separate insurance policy and that he had on one occasion held a pillow on Faria's face and said "this is what it feels like to die". In response to the claims, Schwartz noted that the pillow story had originally been told by Hupp.[26] Faria's daughters issued an apology to Russ Faria in July 2021.[27]

Retrial and acquittal of Russ Faria

An initial motion for a new trial was rejected by judge Chris Mennemeyer in December 2013.[26] In January 2014, Fox 2 KTVI partnered with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to review the case. The next month, the newspaper reported that Hupp had kept the $150,000 rather than put it into a trust for Faria's daughters. She had also contradicted herself during police interviews, such as initially claiming she had not entered the Faria house after driving her home but later revising this account twice. The 9-1-1 operator who had taken Russ Faria's call believed he had been genuinely hysterical. The article alleged that Askey, the prosecutor, had been in a relationship with Mike Lang, the then-captain of investigations for the Sheriff's Office and one of the investigating officers in the Betsy Faria murder case, as well as a prosecution witness.[2][14][28] Two members of the jury in Russ Faria's trial told the media that this information had been withheld.[23][29]

Schwartz appealed the conviction. In February 2015, the Missouri Court of Appeals sent the case back to the 45th Circuit Court for a hearing on a retrial. After Mennemeyer recused herself from the case, in June 22nd Circuit Court Judge Steven Ohmer granted a motion for a new bench trial based on the evidence that had emerged, with Faria released on bond pending the trial.[14] During the retrial, Schwartz was allowed to introduce evidence implicating Hupp as the perpetrator.[30] CSI agent Amy Buettner, who had examined the crime scene, testified that she believed the slippers found in Russ's closet had not gotten bloodied by stepping in blood.[31] During the trial, police officers disclosed that Hupp — who was not called to testify — had claimed in interviews conducted in June that she and Betsy had been in a sexual relationship.[14] Hupp also told police that she had "remembered" seeing Russ and another man in a car parked in a side street outside the Faria house as she drove Betsy home.[32] On November 7, Faria's conviction was overturned and he was released from prison after having served almost four years.[22][30]

In 2016, Joel Schwartz filed a bar complaint against Leah Askey; it was eventually dismissed by the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel.[33] In July 2016, Russ Faria filed a civil rights lawsuit against Askey and three deputy sheriffs on the basis that they had "fabricated evidence, ignored exonerating evidence and failed to investigate the other obvious suspect."[14][21][34][35] Meanwhile, Fox 2 KTVI found other problematic cases involving Mennemeyer.[36][37] The following month, Askey and the sheriff's office issued a press release stating that they were cooperating with the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri in a review of the case.[38] In 2017, Askey asked Lincoln County commissioners to conduct an independent investigation into her conduct; the investigation found no wrongdoing.[39] In January 2017, Mennemeyer was suspended by the Supreme Court of Missouri for misconduct unrelated to the Faria case.[40] In August 2018, both Mennemeyer and Askey (now Leah Wommack Chaney) were voted out of office, a result attributed to the mishandling of the murder case and trial.[41]

The decision not to investigate Hupp had been widely criticized; a former employee of the prosecutor's office said, "There were several of us that kept thinking, why are we not pursuing Pam Hupp? [...] They were just locked down on Russ."[42] In a 2021 interview, Leah Wommack Chaney (née Askey) noted that she had believed Hupp would have been physically incapable of inflicting the wounds found on Betsy Faria's body.[39] In September 2019, federal district judge John Andrew Ross dismissed Faria's suit against Leah Wommack Chaney on the basis of prosecutorial immunity.[17][43][44] In January 2018, attorneys acting for Russ Faria deposed Hupp as part of Faria's lawsuit against Lincoln County; she declined to answer 92 questions relating to the killing of his wife. In response to the refusal, Faria's attorneys sought a court order to force a response.[45] In March 2020, Russ Faria received a settlement worth over $2 million.[46][47]

Charging of Pam Hupp

In June 2019, after Hupp entered an Alford guilty plea to the murder of Louis Gumpenberger, Lincoln County prosecuting attorney Mike Wood announced that he would be reopening the Betsy Faria homicide investigation.[48][49] In October 2019, Wood requested a case review by the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis.[50] In August 2020, new Lincoln County Sheriff Rick Harrell said that the Betsy Faria case had inspired him to run for the job.[51] In February 2021, Wood stated that the COVID-19 pandemic had slowed the investigation but that he expected "significant announcements" in the summer or fall.[52] On July 8, 2021, Hupp was interviewed in connection with the murder of Betsy Faria for the first time.[53]

On July 12, 2021, Wood charged Hupp with the first-degree murder of Betsy Faria and with armed criminal action.[54] Court documents filed by Wood asserted that Hupp murdered Faria for financial gain.[55] Wood stated that he would seek the death penalty for Hupp due to the "heinousness and depravity" of the crime.[56] The prosecution alleges that Hupp repeatedly stabbed Faria while she was asleep on her sofa and weakened from her chemotherapy treatment, then removed Faria's socks and used them to spread blood around the house to try to give the impression of domestic violence before replacing them on Faria's feet.[57]

The court documents noted the following points:

  • Hupp had been named the sole beneficiary on a $150,000 life insurance policy held by Faria days before the murder; following Faria's death, she did not give any of the money from the policy to Faria's daughters despite Faria's reported wishes.[55]
  • Hupp insisted upon driving Faria home from her chemotherapy treatment despite Faria already having transportation arranged and despite Hupp claiming not to be familiar with the Troy area.[55]
  • The position of Faria's body suggested that she was murdered by someone she trusted.[55]
  • Hupp texted "home" to Faria's phone at 7:20 p.m. despite cellphone records showing that Hupp's cellphone was still in the vicinity of Faria's home at the time.[55]

Wood also stated that he would be investigating potential prosecutorial misconduct in the original Faria murder investigation,[56] describing the initial investigation into the murder "mismanaged from the beginning" and driven by confirmation bias against Russ Faria.[58] Wood suggested that the actions by investigators and prosecutors concerned could constitute gross negligence or "calculated criminal behavior".[59] Wood suggested that, by the time of Russ Faria's second trial, Lincoln County prosecutors were acting to protect their own civil liability rather than the ends of justice. Wood further noted that a destruction order had been made in November 2015 (at the time of Russ Faria's acquittal) but never actioned; had it been actioned, the order would have resulted in physical evidence connected with the case being destroyed.[58][60] In a July 2021 interview, Betsy Faria's daughters stated that when they had asked about the possibility of Hupp having been the murderer, they were told "she physically could not do that".[27] In response to Wood's announcement, Leah Wommack Chaney (née Askey) gave an interview in which she denied any misconduct and stated she had never seen the destruction order.[39][61]

In July 2021, Hupp entered a "not guilty" plea.[62][63] On September 8, 2021, the armed criminal action charge against Hupp was dismissed.[64] A preliminary hearing was scheduled for February 2022, but was delayed indefinitely after Hupp's public defender died of a heart attack.[16]

Death of Shirley Neumann

Shirley Mae Neumann, Hupp's mother, a widow since 2000, was living alone in a third-floor apartment in the Lakeview Park Independent Senior Living Community in Fenton,[65] suffering from dementia and arthritis.[66] She spent the night of October 29, 2013 with Hupp following a hospital visit. At approximately 5 p.m. on October 30, 2013 Hupp dropped Neumann off at her apartment, instructing staff not to expect her for dinner that evening or breakfast the following day.[2] A housekeeper found Neumann dead beneath the balcony of her home at 2:30 p.m. the next day. The aluminum balcony railing was broken. Following a police investigation, assistant medical examiner Raj Nanduri concluded that she had died from blunt trauma to the chest resulting from an accidental fall.[65] An autopsy found that she had .84 mcg of the sedative Zolpidem in her blood, over eight times the expected concentration for someone having taken a normal dose.[2]

The next month the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office received an anonymous note suggesting Hupp, the last person known to have seen Neumann alive, had murdered her mother for the life insurance. Hupp and her siblings each received approximately $120,000 of investments held by Neumann, as well as sharing a $10,000 life insurance payout. Earlier that year, prior to her mother's death, Hupp had been videotaped saying "my mom's worth half a million that I get when she dies [...] if I really wanted money, there was an easier way than trying to combat somebody that's physically stronger than me". The police reopened their investigation, but after interviewing the housekeeper who had found Neumann's body and Neumann's son Michael – both of whom said that Neumann was "unsteady" – again concluded that her death was accidental. They did not interview Hupp.[65]

After Hupp was charged with the 2016 murder of Louis Gumpenberger, the St. Louis County Police Department reopened the investigation. Michael Neumann reiterated that he believed his mother's death was accidental. Detective Matthew Levy attempted to get a subpoena for the location of Hupp's cellphone at the time of her mother's death but was unsuccessful. Levy also attempted to organize forensic tests on the balcony railing at the Missouri University of Science and Technology but the Lakeview Park Independent Senior Living Community refused to provide a railing for testing.[65][67] A retired homicide detective suggested to Fox 2 KTVI that one of the vertical bars appeared to have been "kicked out".[16] After interviewing Hupp in connection with Neumann's death, Fox 2 KTVI reporter Chris Hayes received an anonymous letter stating "Dear sirs: I think its [sic] getting a little silly that you keep accusing someone of killing their parent, when its [sic] not true."[68][16]

In November 2017, Mary Case, the chief medical examiner for St. Louis County, changed the manner of Neumann's death from "accidental" to "undetermined". Case stated, "since [Neumann's] death, many things have happened that involved the daughter. And so all of that investigation, including the one in Lincoln County and the one in St. Charles, became pertinent information [...] I was no longer willing to say it could be an accident." The investigation into Neumann's death was not reopened.[65][69][70]

Murder of Louis Gumpenberger

A Ruger LCR, the model of handgun used by Hupp to murder Gumpenberger.

Louis Royse Gumpenberger was a resident of Union, Missouri.[71] He had mental and physical disabilities after a car crash in 2005.[2][72]

Shortly after 12:00 noon on August 16, 2016, Gumpenberger died after Hupp shot him five times in the hallway of her home at 1260 Little Brave Drive in O'Fallon.[73][74] $900 was found on his body along with a note bearing instructions to "kidnap Hupp, get Russ's money from Hupp at her bank, and kill Hupp" and to "Take Hupp back to house and get rid of her. Make it look like Russ' wife. Make sure knife sticking out of neck." in return for a reward of $10,000.[75] As Hupp had placed two calls to 9-1-1 shortly before the shooting to report a burglary in progress, the audio of the incident was recorded.[71][73][76]

Immediately after the shooting, Hupp voluntarily went to the O'Fallon Police Department. Her first words in the recorded interview were, "Is this going to be filmed? Because I always appear on the news with Chris Hayes." She went on to say she blamed Hayes' reporting for attracting threatening people.[77]

Hupp claimed that Gumpenberger, armed with a knife, had jumped out of a car (driven by another person) into her driveway, accosted her while she sat in her SUV in her garage, and demanded she drive to a bank to retrieve "Russ' money". Hupp claimed that she had knocked the knife out of Gumpenberger's hand with a "karate chop" and then fled into her house, shooting Gumpenberger in self-defense with a Ruger LCR she kept on her nightstand after he pursued her.[2][74]

The St. Charles County prosecuting attorney and the O'Fallon chief of police theorized that Hupp had lured Gumpenberger to her home by presenting herself as "Cathy",[78] a producer for the television program Dateline NBC, and offering to pay him to reenact a 9-1-1 call, then shot him in order to implicate Russ Faria in an attempt on her life (and "take heat off her"), planting the knife, the note, and the money on his body.[71][79] Gumpenberger was believed to have been selected at random.[80] Several pieces of evidence were identified:

  • Cellphone records showed that Hupp had been in Gumpenberger's neighborhood "right at the supposed attacker’s front door" less than one hour before the shooting, casting doubt on her claim that she had never met him before.[30][81]
  • On August 10, 2016, a police report had been filed with the St. Charles County police stating that a woman matching Hupp's description had approached O'Fallon resident Carol Alford (also known as Carol McAfee[82]) posing as a Dateline NBC producer and offering her $1,000 to reenact a 9-1-1 call; security camera footage showed that the woman in question had been driving Hupp's car.[2][83][84][85] A second witness, Brent Charlton, informed police that Hupp had approached him with a similar proposition.[79][86]
  • Police investigators found nine $100 bills in Gumpenberger's pocket; a 10th found on Hupp's dresser had a sequential serial number to four of the nine bills.[75][87][88]
  • Investigators also suggested that the knife had been purchased at the Dollar Tree in O'Fallon alongside several other items found in Hupp's house.[76][89] The paper on which the note found on Gumpenberger's body had been written was also thought to have been bought by Hupp.[90]
  • The knife found in Hupp's car was found wedged between the passenger seat and the central console. Knives in Hupp's kitchen were similarly stored wedged between the stove and counter.[76]
  • A carpet swatch found by police appeared to have been positioned to protect a rug in Hupp's home from Gumpenberger's blood.[76]
  • Police investigators were skeptical that Gumpenberger would have been capable of carrying out the acts Hupp said he had given his mental and physical disabilities.[91]

Guilty plea

On August 23, 2016, Hupp was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.[71] Upon being arrested, she asked to visit a bathroom, where she used a ballpoint pen to stab her neck and wrists in an apparent suicide attempt;[2] St. Charles County assistant prosecutor Phil Groenweghe described the act as "consciousness of guilt".[92] Bail for Hupp was set at $2 million.[71][83] On December 16, a grand jury indicted Hupp on the charges.[93] Hupp appeared in court on January 31, 2017, pleading not guilty. In March 2017, prosecutors stated that they would seek the death penalty due to the apparently arbitrary choice of Gumpenberger as the victim.[80] In May 2018, 11th Circuit Court Jon Cunningham ruled that prosecutors could not present evidence relating to the death of Shirley Neumann;[94] the following month, Cunningham ruled that prosecutors could present evidence relating to the killing of Betsy Faria.[95] In August 2018, Hupp's trial date was set for June 2019.[96]

Instead of contesting the charges at trial, Hupp entered an Alford guilty plea, waiving her right to a jury trial. As a condition of her plea agreement, Hupp did not face the death penalty.[97] She was sentenced to life without parole in August 2019.[48][98][99] She is serving her sentence at the Chillicothe Correctional Center.[100] In a phone call to her then-husband, Hupp claimed that she had pled guilty so her family would not have to "witness an ugly trial".[101]

In October 2019, Gumpenberger's mother Margaret Burch filed a lawsuit for wrongful death, fraud, and misrepresentation against the incarcerated Hupp.[102] In July 2020, Burch was awarded a judgment of $3 million.[103][104] Burch's attorney Gary Burger subsequently filed to garnish Hupp's prison trust account, into which her $1,200 COVID-19 CARES Act relief stimulus was paid.[105] As of February 2022, the family had not received "any significant money" from Hupp.[106]

In September 2020, Hupp's husband Mark Hupp filed for divorce, describing their marriage as "irretrievably broken";[107] by March 2022, the couple were divorced.[16] In September 2020, Hupp filed a motion to vacate her conviction, claiming she was pressured to take a plea;[108] it was denied the following March as untimely.[109]

Media coverage

Renée Zellweger portrays Pam Hupp in The Thing About Pam, a six-part television series.

The local St. Louis station Fox 2 KTVI broke the story, reporting continuously on the Betsy Faria murder case from December 28, 2011 to the present, generating more than 50 reports and investigations since December 2011. Chris Hayes of Fox 2 KTVI was the only reporter to attend Russ Faria's first trial in November 2013 and the first to report questions about Pam Hupp that same month; upon his release from prison, Russ Faria thanked Hayes for his coverage.[110]

The murder of Betsy Faria was the subject of five Dateline NBC episodes: "The House on Sumac Drive" (2014), "Game Night" (2015), "Return to Game Night" (2016), "Stranger Than Fiction" (2016), and "The Thing About Pam" (2019).[111][112][113][114] Faria's murder has received more coverage from Dateline NBC than any other subject aside from O. J. Simpson and JonBenét Ramsey.[115]

In July 2019, filmmaker Daniel Blake Smith announced that he was writing and producing Proof, a feature film based on the stories of Russ Faria and his defense attorney Joel Schwartz.[115][116]

In September 2019, the murder of Louis Gumpenberger was the subject of a Dateline NBC true crime podcast.[117][118] It spent several weeks as one of the most popular Apple podcasts.[119]

In October 2019, the Riverfront Times dubbed Hupp St Louis' "best local girl gone bad" of that year, observing that "few stories are quite so made-for-TV" and "the tale of Pam Hupp screams for serialization".[120]

In May 2020, NBC News Studios and Blumhouse Television announced that they were co-producing a new scripted television series based on the murder of Betsy Faria.[121] In February 2021, they disclosed that the six-episode series would be called The Thing About Pam. Renée Zellweger portrayed Pam Hupp and served as executive producer;[122] other cast members include Josh Duhamel as Joel Schwartz,[123] Judy Greer as Leah Askey, and Katy Mixon as Betsy Faria.[124] Filming was carried out in New Orleans, Louisiana; it was delayed by Hurricane Ida[125] but was underway by October 2021.[126] During filming, Zellweger received criticism for wearing a fatsuit to portray Hupp.[127][128] In February 2022, it was reported that Blumhouse Television and NBC News Studios had declined to share profits from The Thing About Pam with the family of Louis Gumpenberger.[106] The series began airing on NBC[129] in March 2022.[130]

The book Countdown to Murder: Pam Hupp authored by Rebecca F. Pittman was published in 2021.[131] A book about the murder of Betsy Faria authored by Joel Schwartz and Charles Bosworth Jr., Bone Deep: Untangling the Betsy Faria Murder Case, was published in 2022.[132]

See also


  1. It was later revealed that the document was written in Word 97, software that was not installed on the laptop, and was the only document on the laptop with an "unknown" author.


  1. "Offender search - Pamela M. Hupp". Missouri Department of Corrections. September 19, 2019. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  2. Cooperman, Jeannette (January 19, 2017). "The unimaginable, infamous case of Pam Hupp". St. Louis Magazine. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  3. Hayes, Chris (May 22, 2017). "Pam Hupp could still be collecting government disability checks in jail". Fox2Now. Tribune Broadcasting. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  4. Hayes, Chris (March 10, 2014). "Fox Files Special Report: The Faria Murder (Part 2)". Fox2Now. Tribune Broadcasting. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  5. Weich, Susan (December 23, 2013). "Lincoln County man sentenced to life plus 30 years for killing wife". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Lee Enterprises. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  6. Weich, Susan (January 4, 2012). "Husband of Lincoln County woman found dead in home is charged with her murder". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Lee Enterprises. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  7. "Leah Day, Mariah Day v. Pamela Hupp, Mark Hupp". Missouri Court of Appeals (via FindLaw). May 16, 2017. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  8. Hayes, Chris (November 3, 2014). "With $150,000 on the line, a murder witness changes her story". Fox2Now. Tribune Broadcasting. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  9. Patrick, Robert (August 6, 2014). "Judge freezes accounts of O'Fallon, Mo., woman who collected life insurance after friend's murder". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Lee Enterprises. Retrieved July 14, 2021.
  10. Schremp, Valerie (February 25, 2016). "Daughters of Betsy Faria lose life insurance battle in St. Charles County judge's ruling". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Lee Enterprises. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  11. Hayes, Chris (February 25, 2016). "Judge rules Pam Hupp can keep Betsy Faria's life insurance proceeds". Fox2Now. Tribune Broadcasting. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  12. Hayes, Chris (April 15, 2016). "Russ Faria sues State Farm for his murdered wife's $150,000 life insurance proceeds". Fox2Now. Tribune Broadcasting. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  13. Hayes, Chris (January 20, 2016). "Key murder case witness admits she lied about life insurance money". Fox2Now. Tribune Broadcasting. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  14. Possley, Maurice (November 16, 2015). "Russell Faria". National Registry of Exonerations. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  15. Fischer, Bruce (October 24, 2014). "Op-Ed: Allegations of inappropriate affair in Russ Faria murder case". Digital Journal. Archived from the original on August 9, 2021. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  16. Hayes, Chris (March 7, 2022). "The real truth about Pam Hupp: 3 deaths, 2 questionable investigations, 1 woman at the center". Fox2Now. Tribune Broadcasting. Archived from the original on March 8, 2022. Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  17. "Russell Scott Faria, plaintiff, vs. Ryan J. Mccarrick, et al, defendants" (PDF). United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (via TownNews). September 26, 2019. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  18. Hayes, Chris (March 8, 2022). "Here's how Faria prosecutors got their wrongful conviction". Fox2Now. Tribune Broadcasting. Archived from the original on March 11, 2022. Retrieved March 14, 2022.
  19. "Jury finds Russell Faria guilty of murder in the first degree and armed criminal action" (PDF). Lincoln County Prosecutor. November 21, 2013. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  20. Marks, Andrea (July 13, 2021). "Subject of 'Dateline' podcast 'The Thing About Pam' charged with murder". Rolling Stone. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved July 14, 2021.
  21. "Russell Scott Faria, plaintiff, v. sergeant Ryan J. Mccarrick, in his individual capacity only, detective Michael Merkel, in his individual capacity only, detective Patrick Harney, in his individual capacity only, prosecuting attorney Leah Askey, in her individual capacity only, defendants" (PDF). United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (via TownNews). July 19, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
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