We would all like to think that we can trust the person we love and indeed most of us do so implicitly. But what if the person we love isn’t exactly who they say they are? What if that person, whom we’ve given our all to, is capable of things we never expected.
Betsy and Russ were, by all outward appearances, a happily married couple. But their marriage, unbeknownst to both of them, was full of secrets and desires which neither of them would discover until it was too late…
911 operators in Troy, Missouri had received, as they often do, a frantic call from a man in desperation. It was difficult but phone operators did their best to discern what the man needed through his anguished sobs. The man told them he wanted police to come to his house right away because he’d come home to find his wife Betsy dead.
Authorities raced to the house, but by the time they arrived it was too late. Betsy was indeed dead at the scene, her body splayed out on the couch with a steak knife protruding from her neck. Russ, her husband, told police that he was certain his wife had committed suicide, but the 55 stab wounds on her body told them a very different story…
Investigators, quite sure that Betsy had been murdered, began to search the house for more clues. Russell’s bloody slippers, a surefire clue that someone wasn’t being completely honest, were discovered in his closet. Then, the investigators discovered a note in Betsy’s laptop which proclaimed she was afraid of her husband.
Meanwhile, Russell was being questioned by the officers outside. He told them that he believed Betsy had committed suicide because she had been suffering greatly from breast and liver cancer. She had spoken freely about wanting to take her own life if things got bad and Russ figured that his poor wife had simply had enough. Still, the evidence against him was pretty damning…
The problem was, Russ Faria had a pretty good alibi. He had been out with friends earlier that evening. They had gone to the movies and then to a nearby Arby’s and he had proof of both in his ticket stub and receipt. The claim was even corroborated by the fact that the clothing he was wearing on CCTV was the same he had on when authorities arrived.
What About Betsy?
As for Betsy Faria, she had last been seen alive around 7:00 pm, when her close friend, Pamela Hupp, who was also aware of her cancer concerns, had dropped her off at her home. According to Pamela, her friend had been very much alive when she dropped her home. So what happened between that moment and the time Russ called 911?
Betsy was cold to the touch when Russ and the police arrived. Based on the projected time of death, it was evident that she must have been killed sometime before Russ got home. There was no physical way that Russ could have killed his wife in the time frame given. But what other culprit was there?
No Other Choice
The district attorney’s office was in a bit of a pickle. They had no other suspects in the murder of Elizabeth Faria and no other leads. Regardless of the inconsistencies and lack of evidence, they decided to proceed against her husband Russ. He was arrested and charged with her murder on the basis of the slippers and the note…
During the trial, Russ’ defense team argued that both the slippers and note had been purposefully placed in a half-hearted attempt to frame him for his wife’s murder. Once again, they cited the real evidence and the proof of his night out with friends. It was impossible for Russell to have killed his wife in the time frame given.
Still, despite the evidence in his favor, the jury didn’t believe him. Russell Faria was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife, Elizabeth “Betsy” Faria. The idea was that Russ would serve out the rest of his days in a state prison, but some years after the trial ended, some new evidence came to light…
Russ Faria had only spent two years behind bars when his lawyer called him with some news. He warned him that it was both good and bad. The good news was that someone had come forward with what could be exonerating evidence, the bad was that it came at the revelation of his deceased wife’s infidelity.
Apparently, Betsy Faria had been involved in a long-term lesbian love affair with her “best friend” Pamela Hupp. Not only had the two been secretly intimate for some time, but Pamela had, not a few days before her lover’s death, been made the beneficiary of a $150,000 life insurance policy from Betsy…
No One Knew
As if that weren’t enough to thicken the plot, the life insurance policy had been handled completely in secret. The change in beneficiary was something that no other friend or family member knew about. That, coupled with the fact that Hupp had made uncorroborated allegations about Russ during the investigation, were enough to create reasonable doubt.
Hupp’s plan had worked, Russ had become the only suspect in the case. But her story about dropping Betsy home at 7:00 pm that fateful night also turned out to be a lie. She claimed she went right home after dropping her lover off, but it was later proven that Hupp was still in the area of Betsy’s home until at least half an hour later…
Russell was acquitted of the murder and released from prison. But all of this new evidence leads one to wonder, what exactly was Pamela Hupp doing? More importantly, it makes you question if Pamela herself had anything to do with her dying friend’s murder. She did however, purchase herself a new house with the $150,000 life insurance policy.
As anticipated, Hupp staunchly denies having anything to do with the murder of Betsy Faria. And unfortunately there is no evidence against her solid enough to warrant a case against her. As it happens though, a few years later, authorities would get another shot at Pamela Hupp…
Another Frantic Call
It was 12:08 pm on August 16 and another 911 operator was in the midst of another frantic call, this one from Pamela Hupp. She told the operator that someone had broken into her Missouri home and that she had shot the intruder, 33-year-old Louis Gumpenberger, in self-defense.
Officers arriving at the scene were understandably skeptical of Pamela Hupp’s claim. When they found $900 and a note in Gumpenberger’s pant pockets, that skepticism was rewarded. The note in question had some very telling information on it. Including another scheme that would have cost Hupp her life, had she not been the one who conceived of it…
The Second Scheme
The note, which became the charging document against Hupp at her subsequent trial, appeared to be instructions for Gumpenberger to kidnap Hupp, get Russ’s money from Hupp at her bank, and then kill Hupp in order to collect the rest of the $10,000. The name Faria was also on the note. It was enough for authorities to believe Gumpenberger had been led there to his death by Hupp.
Since the night of the shooting, Pam Hupp has been charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Louis Gumpenberger. The district attorney believes that she had hired the man to attempt to kill her so that it looked like recently exonerated Russ Faria had done so in order to collect the rest of the insurance money. It seems her fate is finally sealed.