#TrueCrimeTuesday: The Thing About Pam

NBC's "The Thing About Pam" New York Screening

Photo: Getty Images

On #TrueCrimeTuesday, we discuss the story of Pam Hupp.

On December 27, 2011 - Russ Faria found his wife Betsy dead in their home. She was covered in blood and it was assumed that she took her own life... but the story of her death is way more convoluted and horrific.

After Russ arrived at his house and found his wife dead, he immediately called 911 and described the sinister scene he was looking at. Blood everywhere, Betsy was nearly decapitated and her wrists were slashed. Russ believed that his wife took her own life because she was battling cancer and depression and may have just given up home that she could be cured - but investigators found it hard to fathom that Russ believed his wife took her own life due to how she was found.

The crime scene was so grim that it did not seem possible Betsy could do this to herself. Police brought Russ in for questioning. At the time of questioning, the man that was sobbing uncontrollably on the phone was now calm and seemingly worry-free. Something was not adding up to investigators.

One of Betsy's close friends Pam Hupp said that she had extreme suspicions about Russ, she claimed he was abusive to Betsy and believed something bad would happen to Betsy when she dropped her off at home on December 27th. Pam openly regretted not doing more to prevent what would later happen to Betsy. She tried to make investigators believe that Russ murdered his wife.

It is important to mention, Pam was the last person to see Betsy alive.

As detailed on Keith Morrison's Dateline podcast "The Thing About Pam", the real story of Betsy's murder was one that many did not expect.

Though there was not much forensic evidence and the efforts that were made by Russ' defense attorney, Russ was charged with the first-degree murder of his wife as well as armed criminal action on January 6, 2012.

As the trial commenced, Pam said that Russ was abusive with his wife and that Betsy was ready to end her marriage with him. She tried painting this picture that Russ was the cause of all of this pain. He was later sentenced to life in prison.

After numerous appeals and with the discovery of new evidence, Russ was given a retrial in 2015 and would be acquitted on both charges.

Faria had many suspicions that Pam was actually the person to murder his wife. As mentioned earlier, she was the last person to see Betsy alive and she was also named the sole beneficiary of Betsy's life insurance policy only four days prior to her murder.

A few months later, police were called to Pam's house where Louis Gumpenberger was shot multiple times.
Pam said that Louis assaulted her and she had to take matters into her own hands. Pam also claimed that Louis told her to give him "Russ' money".

Investigators did not believe her story and would ultimately arrest her. While in police custody, Pam would stab herself in the neck. She was later charged for the murder of Betsy - she plead not guilty to this, by the way.
Prosecutors believe that Pam manipulated Betsy into making her the sole beneficiary of her life insurance policy then murdering Betsy and framing Russ, according to NBC News.

NBC's "The Thing About Pam" New York Screening

Photo: Getty Images

Renee Zellweger will be portraying the role of Pam in the upcoming NBC series, "The Thing About Pam" that premieres on March 8th.

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