Missouri woman, 60, admits ‘she killed mentally disabled man to cover for an earlier homicide’ – Pamela Hupp is jailed for life without parole, after admitting second for murder was part of evil scheme to frame the husband of a dead friend for her murder
“As I stand here today, I tell you I believe she deserves to be put to death.” “we may never hear her accept any responsibility on this.” – St. Charles County, Missouri Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar said in reference to defendant Pamela Hupp
The Missouri woman was sentenced to serve life in jail without parole Wednesday, for murdering a mentally disabled man as part of a dastardly scheme to frame the husband of a friend she’d killed for the crime
Pamela Hupp, 60, was a friend of Betsy Faria and the last person to see the terminal cancer patient before she was found stabbed to death in her living room in Dec 2011
Betsy’s husband Russell was first convicted for the murder, but later acquitted – he then claimed his wife’s friend and the state’s star witness for his trail, Pamela Hupp, committed the crime
Hupp had benefited from the $150,000 life insurance policy on Betsy which had been signed over days before her death
To draw away attention she plotted a hoax kidnapping to frame Russell Fariah
It is claimed she lured disabled man Louis Gumpenberger, 33, in August 2016 while pretending to be Dateline presenter and shot him twice in home
County authorities said she was trying to set Gumpenberger as robber working on Russell’s behalf to get back life insurance money
Hupp admitted in court that the state had evidence to convict of first-degree murder in the death of Gumpenberger and was sentenced to life without parole
She has not been charged over Betsy’s death and has denied involvement in it
Russ Faria blamed Pamela Hupp, saying she had a motive after becoming the beneficiary of a $150,000 life insurance policy shortly before Betsy Faria was killed.
Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Faria was found stabbed to death on the living room floor at her home, her husband Russell was originally convicted of her murder
Pam Hupp was the last known person to see Betsy Faria alive before she was stabbed to death in her home in late December of 2011.
Four days before the murder, Betsy, who suffered from terminal cancer, had made Pam the beneficiary of a $150,000 life insurance policy.
It was a change none of Betsy’s other friends or family members knew about. Betsy’s husband Russ was tried and convicted for his wife’s murder in 2013. Hupp had been the state’s key witness in the case against him.
In order to throw detectives off the scent, Hupp staged the murder of Gumpenberger and told police that her victim had been sent by Russ Faria to extort money from her.
Hupp hoped that detectives would believe that she had acted in self defense while Faria was a dangerous man who was in fact responsible for his wife’s death, instead of her.
Feeling that Russ’ acquittal was drawing attention towards her, it is claimed Hupp looked to frame Russ by creating a hoax revenge attack.
Louis Gumpenberger, who was mentally and physically impaired from a 2005 car wreck, would become the victim of the bizarre plot when Hupp approached him on August 16 in 2016.
According to police, Hupp called 911 at 12:08 p.m. on August 16, to report an active break-in at her home. While on the phone, she told 911 that she had shot the intruder. Gumpenberger was pronounced dead at the scene. He was later identified by his fingerprints, as he had no identification on his person. However, $900 and a note were found in Gumpenberger’s pant pockets.
The probable cause statement, included with the charging document against Hupp, the note “appeared to be instructions for Gumpenberger to kidnap Hupp, get Russ’s money from Hupp at her bank, and kill Hupp in order to collect the rest of the $10,000.” The name Faria was also on the note, authorities said.
Claiming to be a presenter for the popular NBC crime show Dateline, she asked Gumpenberger to participate in reenacting a 911 emergency call.
But after inviting him into her home, she shot Gumpenberger twice, killing him.
Framed: Russ Faria [center], gets a parting hug from a family member Wednesday after Pamela Hupp admitted to the first-degree murder of Gumpenberger, which prosecutors said was to cover up for the 2011 murder of his wife Betsy, and frame him for the crime
Hupp originally told police that she got out of her car on her driveway and Gumpenberger, whom she described as a stranger, pulled a knife and demanded she take him to a bank ‘to get Russ’s money,’ said to be the insurance money she collected from Betsy Faria’s death.
Hupp told authorities she knocked the knife out of Gumpenberger’s hand and ran into her house on a quiet, middle class street. She said she got a gun and fatally shot Gumpenberger, who had followed her inside.
But the story was quick to unravel. Days before the killing, a woman had reported someone matching Hupp’s description claiming to be a producer for the TV show Dateline and promising to pay $1,000 if she would record a scripted sound bite about 911 calls.
The woman at first agreed but backed out when the ‘producer’ failed to show any credentials.
Lohmar said a surveillance camera showed the SUV’s license plate, which matched Hupp’s. He has said authorities believed Hupp was ‘vetting a potential victim.’
Data from Hupp’s cellphone indicated that Gumpenberger was not a stranger as Hupp had claimed – GPS showed she was at his apartment, 13 miles (20.92 kilometers) from her home, less than an hour before the fatal confrontation.
Police found $900 in plastic bags in Gumpenberger’s pocket after his death, and a note that appeared to be instructions to kidnap Hupp and collect Faria’s money. Authorities said the money and note were planted.
Lohmar said that after Hupp was arrested in Gumpenberger’s death she stabbed herself with a ball point pen multiple times in the neck and arms in the O’Fallon police station, requiring hospitalization.
St. Charles County prosecutor Tim Lohmar said after the hearing that the evidence was overwhelming and he believes Hupp ‘deserves to be put to death.’ But he cited several factors in the plea deal, including the fact that the victim’s family preferred that she spend life in prison. He also cited the expected $300,000 cost of a trial.
Hupp has repeatedly denied any involvement in Betsy Faria’s murder. She has never been charged in connection with Betsy’s murder. But newly elected Lincoln County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Wood told Dateline that now that the St. Charles case against Pam Hupp is resolved, he’s reopening the Betsy Faria murder case.
“It’s completely appropriate with it being unsolved with Russ Faria’s acquittal,”
Wood said he hasn’t determined if Hupp is a suspect in Betsy Faria’s death, but ‘people in the community believe she’s the leading suspect.’