When Elizabeth “Betsy” Faria lost her life in the town of Troy in Missouri back in 2011, everyone believed it to be an open and shut matter involving her husband, Russell “Russ” Faria. However, just as ‘The Thing About Pam’ chronicles, that was not at all the case — most of the solid, incriminating evidence still only points towards the last person to see her alive, Pamela “Pam” Hupp. So now that she has finally been charged with the homicide — in July 2021, after nearly a decade — let’s dive into her possible motive and uncover what led to her eventual apprehension, shall we?
Why Did Pam Hupp Kill Betsy Faria?
Since Betsy Faria had two life insurance policies under her name while battling cancer, and Pam Hupp was named the sole beneficiary of one days before the murder, money seems to be the most straightforward motive. With that said, though, the mother of two has always maintained that she had no financial trouble or debts back then despite being on disability because her husband had a steady income. But what’s strange is that she’d initially said the $150,000 was for Betsy’s two daughters yet later alleged her friend had wanted her to keep the money for herself.
As if that wasn’t enough, as per court records, Pam believed “her best friend” viewed her as rich, which is why she never asked, wanted, or needed any monetary aid. Even her husband testified about their finances as well as their properties, especially considering their house flipping side business, but the NBC original still implied trouble for the Hupp family. In the limited crime-drama series, it is indicated that they were behind on their mortgage payments around the time of Betsy’s horrific slaying, which could mean a dire need for cash, leading to desperate actions.
It is no secret that Pam enjoyed money, yet additional motives, including hunger for power and control, complications from an alleged brain injury, or simply attention, have also been suggested over the years. “The general consensus — shared by cops, neighbors, relatives, and true-crime addicts — was that Pam Hupp was evil,” noted editor and journalist Jeannette Cooperman in early 2020. In other words, even though it’s legally entirely unclear whether Pam stabbed Betsy to death or not, let alone what her reason was, many think she could’ve easily been responsible.
How Did Pam Hupp Get Caught?
On August 23, 2016, Pam Hupp was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action for the shooting death of Louis Gumpenberger inside her home a week prior. She had claimed that he was a dangerous home invader whom she’d shot in self-defense, but partly because he suffered from mental and physical impairments, her tale wasn’t believed. She thus entered an Alford guilty plea in the summer of 2019 and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, leading to her connection in other criminal matters being re-examined.
That’s when the authorities ultimately picked up upon all the evidence that had gradually been coming to light against Pam in the years prior. This includes the fact that she’d changed her story several times during her interrogation for Betsy’s murder, had lied about what she intended to do with the life insurance payout, and had likely feigned documents/incidents to incriminate Russ Faria. Furthermore, she had inserted herself into Betsy’s life on that fateful December 2011 day by insisting that she drive her home after chemotherapy even if she had a ride.
As if that’s not enough, phone records show that Pam was in the vicinity of Betsy’s house for about 30 minutes after she insisted she’d dropped her off, meaning that her “home” text to “her best friend” at 7:20 p.m. also came from near the latter’s residence. When all this got combined with the official records proving that Betsy was slain by someone she trusted and Russ had a concrete alibi, Pam became the only viable suspect. Therefore, on July 12, 2021, she was charged with first-degree murder, for which she is yet to stand trial.