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Fox Files Special Report: The Faria Murder (Part 2)

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- The murder of a dying woman first looked like a simple case.  The husband claimed he found her dead, calling it suicide.  His wife was stabbed 55 times.  Prosecutors convinced a judge to keep some evidence from jurors. But it`s all in the court record.

Betsy Faria was dying.  Her friend, Kathleen Meyer said Betsy had just come to terms with it and was content her family would get a life insurance payout.

Meyer remembers Betsy talking about '"...policies that will take care of my husband and my daughters so she said, `When I die, they will be well taken care of.`"

That was Betsy, always thinking of others -- even hoping to raise money for another family battling cancer.  Meyer explained about the fundraiser, "So this was going to be a legacy for her to leave, something like this behind in her memory."

She remembers Betsy being ecstatic they`d raised a lot of money.

Meyer said, "I don`t know how they got the $10,000 she said they collected, but they weren`t an organization that could give a tax reimbursement yet."

Meyer says a friend of Betsy`s named Pam Hupp, went door to door with Betsy, passing out a flyer.  It was in December, 2011, just weeks before Betsy died.  This is where our timeline begins.

Court records show that on December 23rd, four days before the murder.  Pam and Betsy went to the Winghaven Library together.  There, they had a librarian witness the signing of a change in beneficiary form for Betsy's life insurance policy.  The new beneficiary for that $150,000 policy was Pam Hupp.

Kathleen Meyer said, "It didn`t make any sense to me at all. I had no knowledge of this until the insurance company was investigating the payout."

According to records from State Farm, less than a month after the murder, a detective gave the go ahead to the insurance company saying, "Mr. Faria is currently in custody."

Months later, that same detective appeared friendly in a follow up interview with Hupp. He said, "(You)  now have this money and have not turned any of it over to the family. That`s a huge problem. Betsy told you to hold on to this money to make sure the kids are taken care of yet they haven`t seen a dime of that money, you still have it."

The detective asked again about the day of the murder, December 27th, 2011.   Betsy and her friend Bobbi Wann were together during Betsy's chemo that afternoon.   Court records indicate Betsy texted Hupp to tell her she didn't need a ride, because she was with an old friend. Betsy texted "have not spent any one-on-one with her." But Hupp showed up at the treatment.  Betsy's friend, Bobbi, told me she was surprised and Hupp took Betsy home later that night.

Betsy then texted Russ, "Pam Hupp wants to bring me home to bed."

Pam told the court she drove  Betsy from Lake St. Louis to Troy, arriving after 7 pm.  According to Court records, Betsy`s daughter called to tell her mom she`d need to pick up her phone soon, to authorize a family plan cell phone.

Betsy did not pick up those calls, which came at 7:21, 7:26 or 7:30 pm.

Hupp told police she was gone by then.  Listen on this audio tape, recorded the morning after the murder.

Hupp said on audio, "We called my husband when we got there. (Detective) And you called your husband for what reason? (Hupp) To tell him we were there. He wanted to know when I was... I don`t really drive at night too much. (Detective) Were there any... did you go inside? (Hupp) Uhhhh no."

First she said "no," then the investigator asked again.

"(Detective) Did you go in?  (Hupp) I did, just went in, turned on hall light."

Police asked about another call Hupp made at 7:27 pm.

On the audio, you can hear Hupp say, "...trying to think which one I called... (Detective) When you were home? (Hupp) ...called Betsy to tell her I was home."

Home is O`Fallon.  Cell phone records show that the 7:27 call pinged North of Troy in the area of the Faria home.  I talked to Hupp at her home, right after the trail.  I asked her if she remembered hearing Betsy`s phone ring, when her daughter was calling.

Hupp answered, "Betsy doesn`t not pick up many calls. (Hayes) Right, so I`m wondering why she didn`t pick up those.  (Hupp) That I can`t  answer."  Hupp continued, "Maybe either, we were in her bedroom then. I don`t know. I don`t know where her phone was. I never even heard any calls. I don`t know if I left right before she got a call. I don`t know. Like I told them, I wasn`t expecting for police to come to my door that next morning, so I wasn`t taking notes."

She also sounded uncertain during this videotaped re-interview, when discussing how she left Betsy.  During the videotaped re-interview, a detective said, "You originally told investigators when you left, Betsy was lying on the couch, is that correct? (Hupp) I know she was on the couch because she was gonna put in a movie."  Hupp continued, "It happened really fast and she may have walked me to the door, maybe not. Maybe she was on the couch. She was off and on the couch."

The only female DNA found at the scene, was Betsy's.  DNA testing revealed Betsy's blood on the murder weapon.  The DNA lab report continues, "Russell Faria is excluded as the source of these profiles."

Blood on the light switch came back "a mixture of at least two individuals, at least one of which is male." The report continues that it's Betsy's blood, but that "Russell Faria is excluded as the major contributor.  Minor contributors are weak and incomplete."

When talking to Hupp at her door, she told me the Major Case Squad did not seize much from her, except a list of clothing she told detectives she was wearing.

During our conversation, I clarified "(Investigators) took the clothing you said you wore. (Hupp) Right. (Hayes) And they looked, did they look at the car? (Hupp) Uhm, I don`t know if they did or not. It was outside.  It was parked right in my driveway. (Hayes) Did they spray Luminol on your car or your husband`s car? (Hupp) No."

After this interview with Hupp, we found the family on the flyer Hupp reportedly handed out.

James Murphy said, "Wow, that`s our Christmas card. That`s really, that`s kind of scary."

Murphy is the man in that flyer, seeing for the first time his Christmas card, photocopied without his permission.

Murphy said, "I have no idea where she came up with some of that stuff."

We found Murphy while following a lead apparently overlooked by investigators.  Court records show that Hupp claimed she didn't need money and even once gave $50,000 of Betsy`s money to a family battling cancer.  This interview may be the first time anyone's followed up.

I asked Murphy, "It never got back to you? Nobody ever said hey... (Murphy) I`m really surprised that we haven`t been, I mean doing something like this is taking a big chance that somebody would contact us."

He says the story is not true... and the line 'Laura`s last Christmas... Murphy said, "She still had time. She still had time. She was sick, but I have no idea why she would say this was Laura`s last Christmas. (Hayes) So if you had seen that at the time that would really hurt. (Murphy) It would. It really would."

She had 2 Christmases. His wife died a year and a half later, in July.  Murphy said Hupp regularly took his wife out while she underwent chemo, but never said anything about a fundraiser.  He added that he never saw a dime.

Next: To make a case against Russ Faria, prosecutors made surprising new allegations in closing statements. They convinced a jury this was an evil plan, plotted by five people playing a fantasy role play game.

The Faria Murder: Fox Files Special Report (Part 3)

8 comments

  • sharon collins

    I think this is so sad…They need to get this woman off the streets before she kills again….

  • lala

    This woman should be in jail and we all know why! What a con she pulled and the stupid cops fell for it. These cops are just that and should never have been detectives!!! When someone comes in and starts saying look at everyone but me that is the 1st person you should look at. She was the last to see her live and had motive, money!! The judge needs to be removed and if I were a resident there I would be calling and writing everyone and standing in front of the court house demanding to know why she could not be asked questions.

  • Annie

    I am a resident of Troy. Although I do not know either Russ or Pam, I believe in his innocence and her guilt. I am just one person, but I am certainly not alone in my beliefs. Count me in on whatever it takes to see justice done.

    I am also not surprised at the stupidy of Judge Mennemeyer. This is the same judge who gave a school janitor found guilty of child molestation 120 days in a rehab instead of a 10 year sentence. I know which way my vote is gonna go when she runs for reelection.

  • teal

    This a tragic story for sure. Has anybody explored the possibility that Betsy did initially commit suicide (and maybe Pam was aware of this) then Pam had to stage it as a murder to get the Iife inurance money. We all know that insurance money generally is not paid if it’s a suicide. And also where is the librarians testimony that she was a witness to the transfer of insurance beneficiary? Also, why wouldn’t Betsy make her mother the beneficiary to make the trust for her granddaughters. Does this make sense to anyone else?

  • Michael Roark

    I can’t believe how stupid prosecutors and cops can be. It is scary .I will never go anywhere near Missouri. This is the kind of thing that happens in ltaly not the United States. I pray this man gets an appeal for a new trial. Even the judge in this town is an idiot. FREE RUSSELL and put the woman that set him up under the jail.

  • Laurie

    The law enforcement investigation in this case is almost identical to my brother’s murder in 2006. Witnesses never interviewed, unknown insurance policies that turn up after the murder and a detective who seemed a little too friendly with the benificiary. Oh, and here’s the kicker. When State Farm hesitated about paying out one of the policies, it was the detective who called them to assure them she wasn’t guilty…and waited until she received her insurance benefits to name her as the only person of interest in the case. Sound familiar? Money, especially tax-free life insurance benefits may not be able to buy love, but it can buy the criminal justice system.

  • MattyB

    Its good this case is getting national attention because there are groups that will help free Russ. The investigators are pathetic in this case from the beginning. For starters, Pam lied about her story. And she was at Betsy’s house near the time of the killing! Not to mention her phone pinged near Troy during that time when she claims she was home when she called Betsy to let her know she made it home. Lincoln county sheriffs are as corrupt as they come. Plus, Pam knew that Betsy’s #1 priority was to take care of her children once she passed. But, to this day, Pam has never given 1 dollar to Betsy’s kids. MOTIVE: money & greed. Period. Russ has a solid alibi witnessed by 5 other individuals that night. You mean to tell me that 5 other people were in on this and if they were, NONE of them have been charged since?! Pam got the policy signed over to her as beneficiary two blocks from my office in WingHaven at the library when, in fact, Pam’s State Farm office is less than a mile away in WingHaven….why didnt she get it signed/witnessed in her own office located inside a real estate office building with a bank in it. Ill tell you why, because she wanted to do it ‘under the radar’.
    And, State Farm making a payout to one of their own State Farm life insurance agents????…They ought to be ashamed of themselves for not investigating this further. This wreaks of police cover-up and false accusations/conviction. The Lincoln county police wanted only one thing from the beginning—to close this case asap and make themselves look good. Not to mention possible involvement by the detective because he sure gave State Farm the go-ahead quickly on releasing life insurance payouts to Pam. This whole case is absurd.

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