Inside murder trial of man accused of stabbing wife 55 times

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TROY, MO (KTVI)--The Fox Files has an exclusive report on a murder trial involving a man accused of stabbing his wife 55 times.  Police found a steak knife in the victim`s neck and arm slices down to the bone.  Family members hope to get answers from a two year long mystery.

42-year-old Betsy Faria died two days after Christmas, 2011.  it was a horrific crime in Troy, Missouri.  Of the 55 stab wounds, most appear to have penetrated after she died, including gashes that nearly severed her arms.  The Lincoln County Sheriff`s Office arrested her husband Russ Faria.  Now that the case has gone to a jury, we`ve learned of the complicated web that`s led to this trial.

Prosecutors are painting Russell Faria as a frightening father who screamed and cussed at his wife and kids.  Then on December 27th of 2011, they say he called 911 crying that his wife killed herself, when the scene clearly showed murder.

It`s a challenging case for Lincoln County Prosecutor Leah Askey. Police found no blood on Russ Faria.  Defense Attorney Joel Schwartz points out Faria was even captured on camera at a gas station before the murder, wearing the same clothing.

Prosecutors also have not given a potential time of death, but they highlight a pair of bloody slippers belonging to the husband.

Here`s a timeline that begins a few hours before the 911 call.

6:30 p.m. December 27th: Betsy Faria gets a ride home from a friend.  They leave from O`Fallon MO, for Betsy`s home in Troy.  Betsy`s friend Pam Hupp drives her.  She`s the last person to admit seeing Betsy alive.

7 p.m. Betsy`s daughter Leah calls Mom to say she`ll need her to answer her phone in 30 minutes, to authorize a cell phone purchase.

A few minutes later Pam Hupp and Betsy Faria arrive at the Betsy`s home in Troy.  Hupp says the door was unlocked and the lights out.

7:04 Hupp calls to tell her husband they're at Betsy's and then stays for about 20 minutes.  A cell phone ping shows Hupp still in the area at 7:27 p.m.

Meanwhile daughter is calling Mom and getting no answer.  1st at 7:21.  Then no answer at 7:26 and again at 7:30 - no answer.

Husband Russ Faria is reportedly with friends this entire time, in Lake St. Louis.  Four different friends confirm he was with them from 6 - 9 p.m.  Faria stops at an Arby`s drive through.  A receipt shows 9:09 p.m.  Then he makes the approximate 25-30 minute drive home.

9:40, Russ Faria calls 911 to report a suicide.

10 minutes later a medic describes the body as cold and stiff.

The evidence is tough for Betsy`s family to sit through.  But they`re able, because as sister Mary Rodgers says, Betsy`s bright moments outshine the current horror.   Betsy's Mom, Janet Meyer said, "She was a very positive person.  Everybody loved her.  Everybody at the funeral home, even total strangers, told me how great she was, always put them first, put everybody first besides herself."

Prosecutors aren`t clear about when they believe Russ Faria killed his wife, but they seem to be leaning towards a time before he visited Arby`s. But they'll have to attack his alibi witnesses as liars and a defense expert who located Faria's cell phone in the area of the home at that time.

Betsy's friend, Pam, is not a suspect and was never reportedly a suspect.  It appears Russ Faria has been the only suspect from the beginning.

The case may go to the jury Thursday.

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  • Danny Heiple

    I dont think the husband did it, I am not saying he did not have it done but if three – four people say he was with them and have not changed thier story then he was most likely with them. That does not mean someone was not hiding in the house when she got home and waited for the friend to leave to kill her. He (the husband) could have had it done by someone else or it could have been someone else all together, reasonable doubt should clear him if the justice system works like it should.

  • Me

    Russ did not do this.

    What we are watching is a miscarriage of justice.

    Four solid alibi witnesses between 6 and 9, a tech expert that confirms Russ’s phone is at the friends house during those hours and the first responder that confirmed the body was cold and the blood dried upon his arrival.

    I won’t act like I know what happened before 6pm or after 9pm on December 27, 2011….but during those hours I can guarantee that Russ did not murder anyone…he was with us.

  • Me

    I’m completely stunned by the outcome of this trial.

    Somebody got away with murder…

    Some justice system we have.

  • He's innocent!

    I wish everyone knew the truth. There was so much the judge didn’t allow the jurors to hear. Pam Hupp did this. She was the person last seen with Betsy and never really investigated. Pam received proceeds from Betsy’s death that were supposed to be turned over to Betsy’s children that never were! Russ needs to fight. The media needs to get involved. This is not justice!

  • RIP Betsy

    I think there’s enough information to question Pam’s involvement, I’m not saying Russ is innocent, but Pam’s actions after Betsy’s death are completely suspect. She was made the beneficiary when Betsy’s cancer came back in the understanding that it would go to Betsy’s kids, what kind of person takes that money and keeps it for herself? Bottom line, Betsy was a wonderful person who did not deserve to die like this nor to be screwed over by her “best friend” after death. Those girls should get that money their mother left for THEM. Karma will get whoever was involved in this, even if the justice system does not.

    • He's innocent!

      My understanding is Betsy and Pam Hupp weren’t even “Best Friends”. She had much closer friends who she trusted. It’s weird when you read news reports (before trial) that all have the same stories that came from Pam but Pam was never mentioned. Like the pillow incident that no one other than Pam knew about.

  • Me

    Unfortunately karma won’t fix the damage inflicted by the real murderer on the victim, her husband, her family and all of those that got caught up in this mess.

    To make matters worse, the prosecutor lays out a scenario that has no basis in reality nor any evidence to back up said scenario. In the course of this, she accuses four innocent people of being accessories to murder, yet won’t pursue charges against them because of NO EVIDENCE AT ALL–just a complex and ridiculous story that she dreamed up!!

    In the rush to convict someone, the prosecution has done a disservice to everyone except the person who actually committed this heinous crime.

  • Disappointed

    Would we have the same verdict if all the evidence that is now made public would have been allowed in court? I can understad not wanting to create a shadow of doubt in case Russ was really guilty. But you can’t overlook the fact that Pam was the beneficiary and whether or not it was Betsy’s intentions for Pam to be the beneficiary, Pam kept the money for herself and paid cash for their new house. Really…she was not a suspect? The same investigation that was done on Russ should have been done on Pam as well, then there would not be any open questions left like there are now. I wonder how you sleep at night…in a house that was paid with blood money. That old saying “with friends like you, who needs enemies,” is very fitting.

  • RIP Betsy

    they were close friends. Or so Betsy thought, I guess. Pam was taking her back and forth to her cancer treatments….that’s where they were coming back from the night this all happened. I’ve known all three of these people for a very long time and I am still in shock this happened. Karma might not fix it, might not make her girls feel better right now, but it will eventually even the score. Those girls are the ones who lost the most, lost their mother then got screwed by someone they trusted.

    No one knows who was actually holding the knife except Betsy and said knife holder. No one will ever admit to it. Maybe there was more than one person involved. Maybe not. Speculation will go nowhere, but I think Pam needs to be looked at. I think questions need to be asked and signatures need to be inspected on anything related to the changes in beneficiaries and Pam needs to explain why she thinks buying herself a house with Betsy’s money was ok to do.

  • He's innocent!

    Pam worked in the life insurance industry. Isn’t it ironic that five days before the murder the beneficiary is changed to Pam Hupp! And wasn’t Pam fired from more than one job for forging documents? SO MANY THINGS THE JURY WASN’T ALLOWED TO HEAR!

    • Lynn

      NO!!!! just the first day… such a good friend of Betsy, wouldn’t you think she would have been there through the WHOLE trial, why wasn’t she. she didn’t work, what was her excuse for not being there…let me see 1 I THINK she was guilty, 2 Betsy family doesn’t have anything to do with her, why is that!!!!!

  • Unbelievable

    I feel so much better that people see that Pam needs to be taken in. Clearly she has issues and needs to be held just as Russ is. Then once they finally figure out that Russ is innocent. Release him! His records obviously show that Russ was not there when Betsy passed. Where was Pam at the time Betsy passed?

  • ME

    “unbelivevable” So do i.. I feel so much better too knowing it was NOT russell, Pam does need to be looked at Time will come and Russell will be OUT.

  • He's innocent!

    Appeals can take years…something needs to be done sooner. I feel sorry for Russ if he truly did not do this.

    Unbelievable – according to cell phone pings, Pam was in the area of Betsy’s house at the time of her death. They even confirmed that on the news. And why again won’t Pam take a lie detector test….hmmm…

  • RIP Betsy

    “He’s innocent”. not more than one, just one. I’m not ready to say Russ isn’t guilty of something, but I think the police need to take a closer look at Pam, at the very least for forgery. That isn’t her money.

    And “Shocked”….I did not hear about her mother’s death. That is really odd. I had only met her a few times, then again at the funeral. That is so sad. Those poor girls. My heart just breaks for them.

  • Shocked

    Someone needs to make sure they look into her mom’s death then. It’s very strange. Alert his attorneys and the media.

  • Jaime

    Interesting that pam hupp’s mother recently passed away from a “fall” off of her third story balcony. I know Russ very well, and I know he is innocent. This is not justice, this is insanity.

  • Me

    This is what happens when the justice system runs wild.

    They will stop at nothing to support whatever narrative they think might gain them the most. Even when this narrative flies in the face of reality and all proven evidence. Everybody wanted the open and shut ‘husband did it’ conclusion and pursued that route even when evidence clearly suggests something completely different happened.

    Beware of this…any of us could become victims to this monster.

    Remember, not only is Russ in prison now, he’s been held on $1mil cash only bond for the past 2 years…how many of us could even really mount a defense against such a justice system?

  • gerard bouchard

    i’ve known russ and betsey for about 15 yrs. theirs might not of been a picture perfect marriage but there is no way in hell russ killed her id be willing to put my life on it. betsey was a sweet lady that i really cred for and russ is a very dear friend who i feel was railroaded. i truely feel a grave misjustice has been commited against him not only did he loose his wife but his freedom as well. sorry brothe luv ya

  • Peace and Love

    The police cannot arrest and hold a person for two years in jail IF they do NOT have evidence to hold him and keep him there–this is not the Amanda Knox trial in Italy. They cannot keep a person in jail if there is NO evidence, point blank. There is all of this talk about Pam Hupp and her supposed “involvement” however don’t you think if she had anything to do with this, she would have been a suspect? The police looked into every aspect and avenue, and still Pam was not, and is not, a suspect to this day, why, simply because she didn’t have anything to do with that horrific crime. As for Pam’s “new” house? Well…have you ever heard of selling the house you currently have and purchasing a smaller home (it’s called downsizing) with those funds? I’m pretty sure it happens everyday around the world…you sell a house and then you buy a new house after you sell the old one with the money you made from the old one–hardly a crime, to say the least. The police aren’t biased. They don’t care. If they think you committed a murder, and they investigate and find evidence pointing to that, then you go to jail. It’s really pretty simple. This was a terrible crime committed against a beautiful, funny, and kind-hearted person, absolutely, but you are all wondering why Russ Faria could have been arrested and found guilty, well, how about maybe because he was the only person fitting that description. If Pam Hupp did it, then what about that evidence proving that? Do you really think the police would dismiss that? Why? That just doesn’t make any sense, and the reason it doesn’t make sense, is because it just isn’t possible. If they ever thought Pam did this, guess what–she would be in jail, and not Betsy’s husband. She has no hold over the police, no conspiracy theory, no smoke and mirrors. This is not rocket science. The facts are the facts, and it seems to me that instead of viewing ALL of the facts, people are running wild with hear-say and rumors. It is obvious there are some real hurt and raw emotions flowing, as I can only imagine. My heart goes out to Betsy and her family through this terribly painful time. With all of that being said, I feel sorry for the people speaking of the recent death of Pam’s mother. When a person feels they have to start attacking people and things they know nothing about, and start making up ridiculous rumors without any merit or substance, that person must feel very desperate. I feel sorry for such desperate individuals. Instead of running on such raw emotion and hatred, let’s calm down and look at all of the facts. A terrible crime took place. A beautiful person’s life was brutally taken away too early. Russ Faria was arrested, not because the police didn’t like him or because they refused to look at all of the evidence, but because all of the evidence they collected revealed he was the killer. A murder trial took place, and after four days of trial and just four hours of deliberation, Russ Faria was found guilty for first degree murder, again, not because they didn’t like him or because they wanted it to be “the husband,” but because they found him guilty with all of the evidence presented. A prosecuting attorney’s job is to put away the murderers. If there was a different person, other than Russ, that could have committed the crime, then that person would have been convicted and brought to justice instead or in addition. Nobody else was suspected, arrested, convicted, brought to trial, and found guilty, except for Betsy’s husband, and although his family and friends may not want to believe it could be true, those are the facts. It is clear that this time especially is elevated with true heated passion and emotion, which I can understand. I only wish for a sense of peace for all involved, and hopefully with time, that can begin to take place. Betsy’s memory will be forever cherished and loved, and I hope that is in everyone’s big picture, aside from everything else.

    • Lynn

      WHAT EVIDENCE!!!!!They wanted a conviction and they went after Russ,they didn’t see some cruicial evidence… I guess his 4 alibi’s are lying for him…who does that…they all have families do you REALLY think they would jeopardized their families…Were you in the courtroom, if you were you deaf, dumb, blind & stupid!!!!!!!!

    • Me

      ‘Betsy’s memory will be forever cherished and loved, and I hope that is in everyone’s big picture, aside from everything else.’

      So, ‘Peace and Love’… is that you Pam?

      Listen up…nobody besmirched Betsy’s character at all during any of this, so don’t try to infer that is the case with that weak line of BS. Don’t’ you think that Betsy would want the REAL truth to come out? I doubt you really do…it looks to me that if you aren’t Pam that you are at least willingly burying your head in the sand so that you can ignore the obviously blaring evidence that was squashed by the prosecutor and judge. I’m sorry to tell you this, but our justice system doesn’t always get it ‘right’. In this case, the Lincoln County justice system has done a massive disservice to everyone except the real killer who is still walking free.

    • Mary P

      Peace and Love you need to educate yourself about the justice system. All you have to do is start watching Dateline and 20/20 to see
      how often the wrong person goes to jail. Law enforcement is under tremendous pressure from superiors and the public to arrest someone. Sometimes they go after the obvious person. They develop a theory about what happened whether evidence supports it or not. They suppress other evidence that doesn’t support their theory. And they never never admit they were wrong. I am not disparaging the Lincoln County Law Enforcement in ANY way. I don’t know enough about this particular situation. But don’t be so ignorant to think these things do not go on. They go on ALL the time.

    • yodi-yo

      @Peace and Love:

      I asked a history professor (who is really versed in American history, i.e. the constitution) about that. This was his repsonse:

      “What often occurs is those who are prosecuting a case feel that they have a slam-dunk conviction (husbands are always prime-suspect #1) and are loath to introduce evidence that might muddy the water…”

      Meaning, all they had was circumstantial evidence (not sure the evidence as I was not there, but I’m guessing DNA evidence, which proves nothing because, uh, HE LIVED THERE!)

      This is not the first time something liek this has happened. Are you not familiar with the Ryan Ferguson case? A young man was held inj ail, on a murder conviction for TEN YEARS, only to have the case retried, this time using modern forensic evidence, and thenceforth CLEARING HIS NAME. He was just released a few weeks ago.

      IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME!!! Do a google/bing/whatever search on “wrongly convicted people” and see HOW MANY have been released from jail after serving a lengthy sentence.

      I am afraid you have no clue how the system works. I fell sad for you. Very sad.

      • He's innocent!

        They didn’t even have DNA evidence on Russ. There is no reason he should have been charged or convicted. The reason they don’t have DNA on Pam is because she was NEVER tested!

  • He's innocent!

    Peace and Love, Get your facts straight. Pam’s “new house” is bigger and NOT smaller! The reason they were able to hold Russ is because the justice system failed and detectives that were supposed to do their job didn’t. Plain and simple. Lots of crooked law enforcement in Lincoln County. Would it look good for them to go back and say, “Oops, we messed up. Sorry, Russ!” NO! The police DID NOT look into every avenue and detail or Pam would have been arrested almost two years ago. Was her car searched? NO. Was she fingerprinted or DNA asked for? NO. Did she take a polygraph? NO. Did she have monetary gain? YES. Was she unaccounted for and in the area? YES. Did her stories change multiple times? YES. Was she fired for forging insurance documents before? YES. Has she lied over and over again? YES.

    • Mystery

      Actually, there was DNA, but the only DNA found was that of Betsy and Russ. No unknown DNA found at the scene

      We should not go down the path of polygraph. I believe Russ took one and Failed it. Good thing they are not admissible in court.
      I was told the alibi witnesses were asked to take one and refused. I winder why??

      • He's innocent!

        My understanding is there MIGHT have been more DNA at the scene but the forensic guy only identified the more dominant ones. Not sure the technical names or words for this. But if presented with more DNA, he COULD look and see if that matches. But with what he was presented (Russ and Betsy), the DNA was that of Russ and Betsy. Which makes sense and doesn’t prove anything…it was their home. If Pam went inside, her DNA would be there. Maybe she had on winter gloves. Remember, someone cleaned up all the blood, so I’m sure they cleaned doors knobs and obvious spots also. There was no DNA evidence pointing to Russ. Like nothing on the knife or under Betsy’s nails. I really think the PD and Major Case Squad dropped the ball in investigating this.

    • Mystery

      Russ’ father was not at the trial at all. His very best friend in the world did not appear once at court. Wonder why???

      Some of us know why.

      I agree, if I were on the jury, I would have had a difficult time saying guilty of first degree murder. However, the jury got to review the interview tapes that we in the courtroom never saw. They were also able to re-review all testimony. There was one Alibi witness who could not keep the story straight. I took copious notes. There were some holes. I hope one day we find out the real truth. I have wondered since day one if Pam hired someone or even Russ. I pray one day we find out. Before it is too late

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