UPDATE 8/23/16 Pam Hupp has been arrested! http://fox2now.com/2016/08/23/pam-hupp-handcuffed-one-week-after-fatal-shooting-in-ofallon-home/
Russ Faria was wrongfully convicted for the murder of his wife, Betsy in November 2013 in Troy, Missouri. Police failed to investigate a key alternate suspect — Pam Hupp and the judge suppressed critical information that would have pointed toward Hupp’s possible involvement in the murder.
- Hupp convinced Betsy to sign her life insurance policy over to her just days before she was murdered
- Hupp gave conflicting stories about her last interactions with Betsy — initialing informing police that she dropped Betsy off at her home and did not go inside and later stating that she had been inside.
- Hupp’s cell phone pinged in the area of the Faria residence at 7:27 p.m. the night Betsy was murdered, even though she told police she was home at that time.
- Hupp didn’t pick up several phone calls from her daughter in that 7-3:30 time-frame.
- Police failed to thoroughly investigate Hupp as a suspect, opting to go with the typical “husband is always the killer” theory.
The jury never heard any of this and they convicted Russ Faria. By the way, the jury was wrong for convicting him despite the withheld evidence. During deliberations they created scenarios to explain how Russ “could have” pulled off the murder, even though there was no evidence to support them. This was improper. They were supposed to deliberate based on information presented at trial.
The local media did a good job exposing the details that were withheld from the jury and it likely influenced the outcome of the appeal. Faria won his appeal and was acquitted in a bench trial in November, 2015. I referenced this case at the time to point out the way the computer evidence was properly handled, as opposed to the Brad Cooper case.
The Faria case was particularly outrageous because Russ Faria had an airtight alibi — He was with a group of friends at a weekly game night — nowhere near the crime scene at the time Betsy was killed. He found her dead when he arrived home later that evening and immediately called 911.
Interestingly, Hupp is back in the spotlight this week. Police received two 911 calls around noon on the morning of Tuesday August 16. The first call was a report of a burglary. As police were en route to the home, a second 911 call reported that a man had been shot in that home — Pam Hupp’s home. Police found thirty-three year old Louis Gumpenberger dead at the scene.
Gumpenberger’s former girlfriend later informed police that she was very surprised to hear the allegations that Gumpenberger had attempted a robbery as he had sustained a serious brain injury from a car accident in 2005 that left him unable to drive. She told police that he wouldn’t typically go anywhere alone.
There are many questions that police will need to sort out. How did Gumpenberger arrive at the house? Why did he choose that particular home? Did he know Pam Hupp? Why were there two 911 calls? Did Pam kill the man for whatever reason and report the burglary to attempt to justify it? Did she in fact shoot him before even placing the first 911 call? Her actions and likely role in Betsy Faria’s murder should cast great suspicion on her with regard to this shooting death . . . but will police remain objective? Police who actually “tipped her” that the defense was investigating her as an alternate suspect.
I will share updates to this story as it unfolds.