If you’ve been watching NBC’s The Thing About Pam, you’ve likely been screaming at the TV as you watch police and the district attorney fumble the murder investigation at the heart of the limited series.
The Thing About Pam brings to life the true-crime Dateline podcast about the 2011 murder of a Missouri insurance worker, Betsy Faria, her husband’s wrongful conviction and her best friend, Pam Hupp‘s diabolical scheme that sent an innocent man to prison.
Over the course of six episodes, we see law enforcement skip basic steps like reading Russ Faria his rights, ignoring and sometimes hiding evidence, among other evidence of corruption. And we haven’t even gotten to district attorney Leah Askey, who is so focused on getting a conviction that she falls for Pam Hupp’s diversions and misdirects. Throw in a little small-town, good-ol-boy (or girl) politics and you have a miscarriage of justice.
Who is Pam Hupp?
Pam Hupp is an American woman born and raised in Missouri who has been implicated in the murders of Betsy Faria and Louis Gumpenberger and was a suspect in the death of her mother, Shirley Neumann.
Where is Pam Hupp now?
Pam Hupp is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of Louis Gumpenberger. She is now incarcerated in northern Missouri at the Chillicothe Correctional Center in Chillicothe, Mo. In September 2020, Hupp filed a motion to vacate the conviction but the motion was denied in March 2021.
Has Pam Hupp been linked to other crimes?
Pam Hupp was convicted of the 2016 murder of Louis Gumpenberger for which she is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Once a key witness in the conviction of Russ Faria for the 2011 murder of his wife, Betsy Faria, Hupp was only recently charged in July 2021 for Faria’s murder.
She has also been investigated for the death of her mother, Shirley Neumann, who died in 2013 from injuries she sustained in a fall from the balcony of her third-floor apartment. The investigation was inconclusive.
Was Pam Hupp convicted of Betsy Faria’s murder?
After Pam Hupp entered an Alford plea to avoid the death penalty in the Gumpenberger case, Faria’s homicide investigation was reopened. In July 2021, Pam Hupp was charged with first degree murder and armed criminal action for the December 2011 stabbing death of Betsy Faria. She pleaded not guilty. The armed criminal action charge was dismissed, but she still faces the murder charge. A preliminary hearing scheduled for February 2022 was delayed after her public defender died of a heart attack. At this point, Hupp’s trial could be years away.
What is an Alford plea?
An Alford guilty plea is a plea where the defendant does not admit to the crime and asserts their innocence but also acknowledges that the evidence presented by the prosecution will likely result in the judge or jury finding them guilty of the crime.
What was Pam Hupp’s motive for murder?
Apparently, Hupp’s motive was money. Just days before her death Betsy Faria had changed the beneficiary of her life insurance policy to Pam Hupp. When investigators questioned the change, Hupp flippantly—and forebodingly—told them that she didn’t need the money because her mother was worth half a million dollars that she would inherit. Just before Russ Faria’s first trial, Hupp’s mother, Shirley Neumann, fell to her death from a private third-floor balcony at an assisted living facility. There was no surveillance video of her fall and Hupp had been the last person to see her alive.