When Betsy Faria was found murdered inside her home in a small town in Missouri on December 27, 2011, the police believed it to be an open-and-shut case involving her husband. However, time soon yielded new details, only to expose a diabolical scheme involving Betsy’s close friend Pamela “Pam” Hupp, along with her alleged connection to her own mother’s demise. So now that this still-unfolding tale has been profiled on NBC’s ‘The Thing About Pam‘ as well, let’s find out all the details concerning the latter’s, Shirley Neumann’s, unexpected passing, shall we?
How Did Shirley Neumann Die?
At the age of 77, Shirley Neumann was not only the devoted wife of late Victor Jr., a mother, a grandmother, and a great-grandmother, but she was also a former school teacher proud of her past. Despite that, by the time 2013 came around, she lived alone in a third-floor apartment of an independent senior community in Fenton, suffering from dementia as well as arthritis. It thus wasn’t unusual for her to forget things/paths or get “unsteady” even on the best of days, yet no one could’ve ever imagined she’d lose her life from a fall that was simply flabbergasting.
At roughly 2:30 p.m. on October 31, 2013, a housekeeper found Shirley’s remains underneath the balcony of her home; she was cold, and the aluminum railings above her were utterly ruined. The first responders’ subsequent initial assessment was that the older woman must’ve plunged straight to the ground from her balcony after losing her balance, which was corroborated in her autopsy. As per the medical report, Shirley died from blunt force trauma to the chest owing to an “accidental” fall, even though she had eight times the usual dose of a sedative in her system.
Who Killed Shirley Neumann?
Since Shirley Neumann’s death was ruled an accident not once but twice by the coroner’s office, the detectives had no reason to suspect foul play at one point in time. Yet, they also couldn’t ignore the high dosage of Ambien or the fact that it had occurred almost directly after she’d spent the night at her daughter’s — Pam Hupp — home following a trip to the hospital for back pain. The fact that Shirley’s third child — out of four — had told the staff not to expect her for dinner that evening or for breakfast the following morning while dropping her off on October 30 didn’t help either.
According to reports, the employees at the Lakeview Park Independent Senior Living Community listened to Pam, which is why they only went to check in on Shirley after lunch on the 31st. That’s when the housekeeper found the door of her apartment ajar, water running in the bathroom, and the patio entrance wide open as well, with the balcony bars bent and broken. They peered down upon noticing that two garden gnomes were also haphazardly toppled alongside a glass of water, making them discover a nightwear-clad Shirley lying crumpled against the grass.
What’s more is that not only was Pam the last person to see her mother alive, just like in Betsy’s case, but she’d even made a shocking comment earlier that year during a police interview in connection to the latter. “If I really — I hate to say it — wanted money, my mom’s worth half a million that I get when she dies… If I really wanted money, there was an easier way than trying to combat somebody that’s physically stronger than me,” she said, referring to the claims that she’d harmed Betsy for the $150,000 payout from her insurance, of which she was the sole beneficiary.
With all this, once Pam was charged for the 2016 shooting death of Louis Gumpenberger, the officials decided to review Shirley’s case once again, focusing on her daughter’s hand in the matter in particular. The manner of the 77-year-old’s demise was subsequently changed from accidental to “undetermined,” yet every other probe proved to be inconclusive. In other words, the actual investigation into Shirley’s death hasn’t been reopened, and neither has Pam ever been formally accused of being responsible.