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A scammer from the USA killed her best friend and her mother because of insurance: a series was shot about her

A cunning swindler from the USA managed to evade justice for more than a decade. During this time, she killed her best friend and her own mother for the sake of insurance, which she managed to transfer to herself, and an innocent person had to answer for her crimes, reports Slow.

Photo: Shutterstock

The third murder put everything in its place. The real story was the basis of the new series "There's Something About Pam", which starred Renee Zellweger.

On December 27, 2011, Russell Faria, a resident of the American city of Troy, Missouri, called 911. “My wife committed suicide,” he said. When the police arrived, more than 50 stab wounds were found on the bloodied body of his wife Betsy. It was impossible to take it for suicide. Russell claimed that when he came home, his wife was already dead, but no one believed him. “You killed your wife,” one of the policemen told him.

Even Russell's alibi didn't convince anyone. He spent most of that evening with friends, with whom he often played board games, and did not go home until about nine o'clock in the evening. On the way, he stopped at two gas stations to buy a candy bar and cigarettes. The call to 911 came in about half an hour later.

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One of the investigators set up an experiment and repeated Russell's path. Even without taking into account stops, the journey took at least 23 minutes. It turned out that Russell had only a few minutes left to commit the crime and get rid of the evidence: forensics found no traces of Betsy's DNA on him, and he did not change clothes. It was hardly possible.

The main and perhaps the only evidence of Russell's involvement in the murder was slippers with traces of blood, which were found at the scene of the murder.

The police believed that Russell's suspicious behavior proved his guilt. During the 911 call, the man appeared to be in shock, but quickly recovered when the operator asked him to calm down. One of the police officers who arrived at the scene of the murder claimed that “he had no tears in his eyes”, he was calm and even laughed.

The court agreed with the arguments of the prosecution, and in 2013 Russell Faria was sentenced to life imprisonment. As it will soon become clear, undeservedly.

Best friend

In 2015, Leah and Maria Day, daughters of the late Betsy, tried to prove the wrongfulness of the sentence. During a new trial, Russell was acquitted. After that, a friend of Betsy, whose name was Pam Hupp, turned out to be under suspicion.
Pam and Betsy met when they both worked for an insurance company. Then Pam had to quit due to an injury, and they almost stopped talking until Betsy was diagnosed with a malignant breast tumor. Pam supported an old friend and even accompanied her to chemotherapy treatments.

When the disease receded, Russell and Betsy Faria decided to go on a cruise, inviting their loved ones. Pam was also called, but she refused to travel. After the return of Faria, the friends continued to spend all their free time together.

Unfortunately, Betsy's hopes for recovery were in vain. Soon the cancer returned and spread to the liver as well.

Once Pam expressed concern about Betsy's insurance policy: she insured her life for $ 150 thousand, and Russell was supposed to receive the money in the event of her death. Pam believed that he could not cope with such a large sum and could not save money for their daughters.

Bets agreed with her arguments. On December 22, five days before the murder, the friends went to the library to sign the change of beneficiary form. After that, Pam received all the insurance in the event of Betsy's death. This is what made her the prime suspect during the 2015 murder re-investigation.


Pam was the last person to see the dead woman alive. On December 27, 2011, the day of the murder, she drove to Betsy's mother's home on Lake St. Louis to take her friend to chemotherapy. However, Betsy's mother reported that she had already left. Despite this, Pam still came to the cancer center. After her chemo session, she took Betsy to her mother's at Lake St. Louis, and she returned home to have dinner with her husband. Pam later insisted on taking Betsy home to Troy. On the same evening, Betsy was killed.

Oddly enough, immediately after the murder of Betsy, no one suspected Pam. She actively contributed to the investigation, but was constantly confused in the testimony and attributed this to memory problems after an injury at work. For the same reason, she refused a polygraph test.

Pam claimed that she brought a friend to Troy around seven in the evening, and then returned home, took a shower and went to bed. At first she said that she did not go to Betsy's house. After it turned out that she still went in and turned on the light in the room, then admitted that she went into the bedroom, as Betsy wanted to show her a new jewelry box.

According to Pam, she called Betsy to let her know she got home. Then she again changed her testimony, saying that she was almost at home at that moment. After the police checked Pam's location during the call, it turned out that at that moment she had not yet left Troy. Then she explained that she stopped halfway home to call Betsy.

The day after the murder, detectives decided to interview Pam's husband to verify her version. However, Pam was allowed to be around when she testified, which was a big mistake. Pam intervened intermittently, and devoted the rest of the conversation to insulting Russell in every possible way. The woman assured the detectives that Betsy's husband was an extremely dangerous and cruel man who humiliated his wife and waited for her death in order to receive money from the insurance policy. Questions about the insurance rewritten on her Pam immediately swept aside.

“If I wanted the insurance money, I could have killed my mother or my husband. Moreover, the amounts for which they are insured are much larger,” she said.

During the first investigation of the murder, these words were almost ignored. They were remembered only two years later, when Pam's mother Shirley Neumann died under strange circumstances.

Shirley died in 2013 from injuries sustained in a fall from a balcony at a nursing home. The day before her death, Pam took her mother to the hospital, as an elderly woman was worried about back pain. In the evening, she warned the nursing home staff that her mother would not come to dinner and breakfast because she was not feeling well.

The next day, a nursing home employee came to check on Shirley and saw that the door to her apartment was open and the balcony was wide open. Looking down, she was horrified to find Shirley's body. In the body of the deceased found eight times the normal dose of sleeping pills.

Soon, Pam bought a new house with the insurance payments for the death of her mother.

Last kill

On August 16, 2016, Pam called 911 and told the police that she had shot the man in self-defense.

The 33-year-old invalid Louis Gumpenberger was killed. According to Pam, Luis tried to attack her and demanded "Russell's money". Pam told the police that Louis was trying to kill her, so she had to shoot.

An investigation began, during which detectives recorded a call from Pam 45 minutes before the murder in the area where Louis lived. The woman explained this by the fact that she came to her daughter, who lives two miles from Gumpenberger's apartment.

On August 23, the Charles County, Maryland, Attorney General and O'Fallon City Police Chief gave their version of what happened. They suggested that Pam introduced herself as the producer of the legal reality show Dateline, which at that time had released three episodes of the Betsy case, and for a fee offered Luis to recreate Russell Faria's 911 call. In this way, she lured Gumpenberger into the house and then shot him.

Six days before Luis was killed, a woman called the police describing an identical incident. On home surveillance cameras, law enforcement officers found a silver crossover with clearly visible numbers. It was Pam's car.

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The prosecutor and the chief of police believed that Hupp planned the murder to deflect suspicion from herself during the re-investigation of Betsy's death.

Pam was charged with the murder of Luis and taken in for questioning. At that moment, she realized that prison could not be avoided. In the interrogation room, Pam asked to go to the toilet and tried to take her own life. But nothing happened - they managed to save her.

As a result, Pam was found guilty of the murder of Louis Gumpenberger. She has been serving a life sentence without parole since 2016.

The case prompted a reopening of the investigation into the murder of Betsy Faria. On July 12, 2021, Pam was charged with the murder of a friend. The prosecutor intends to seek her death penalty.

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