O'FALLON, MO (KTVI) - Pam Hupp was a central figure in a highly publicized Betsey Faria murder trial, covered extensively by Fox 2 News. Betsy's husband, Russ, was first convicted and later exonerated of her murder after new evidence surfaced. The evidence involved $150,000 in life insurance proceeds, signed over into Hupp’s name days before Betsy’s murder. Hupp was never named as a suspect during the Faria investigation.
Learn more: The entire story behind the Russ Faria Case
The St. Louis County Police Department is also reviewing a 2013 case involving the death of Pam Hupp`s mother. Pam Hupp`s Mom died right before the first trial in the Betsy Faria murder case. She fell to her death from a third-floor balcony in 2013. The St. Louis County Medical Examiner found high levels of Ambien in her mom’s system.
Hupp now faces a first degree murder charge in a bizarre plot prosecutors say she hatched to try to frame someone else. She shot and killed a man at her O'Fallon, MO home in August and told police it was a home invasion. Investigators examined the evidence and she was charged in the death. St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Timothy Lohmar charged the 57-year-old first degree murder and armed criminal action in the August 16, 2016, shooting death of 33-year old Louis Gumpenberger. He believes it was a set-up; that Hupp tricked the man into getting in her car so that she could drive him to her home, murder him, and frame Russ Faria for the crime.
On August 16, O'Fallon police received an initial call for help at 12:10 p.m. A second 911 call was made a short time later from Hupp. When officers arrived at the O'Fallon home on Little Brave Drive, Hupp told them that a man approached her in the driveway and followed her into her home. She said she was able to retrieve a gun and shot the intruder, who was later identified as Gumpenberger. An autopsy determined he had been shot at least twice.
The investigation revealed that Hupp had sought out Gumpenberger and brought him back to her home on the day of the shooting. Gumpenberger had $900 and a handwritten note in his pockets at the time of his death. The note listed instructions to kidnap Hupp, get "Russ' money," and then kill Hupp. Investigators believe Hupp placed those items on Gumpenberger after his death.
The investigation also revealed that on August 10, 2016, an O'Fallon woman was approached by another woman in an SUV claiming to be a Dateline NBC producer working on a story about 911 calls. The woman initially agreed to be part of the story, but them demanded to be taken back home after the woman in the SUV could not produce credentials. That woman later was able to identify the woman in the SUV as Pamela Hupp.
Shooting victim Louis Gumpenberger was from Union, Missouri. He was scheduled for a job interview the following day at a St. Peters business that helps disabled people. Gumpenberger’s ex-girlfriend, Shannon Zoll, said he suffered nerve damage after a car accident 11 years ago, adding that he has a noticeable limp when he walks.
Newly disclosed evidence in the case against Pam Hupp includes an unusual connection police found involving $100 bills. It’s just the beginning of what's contained in now unsealed search warrants, obtained by Fox 2 News. Officers served the search warrants after Pam Hupp said she shot and killed Louis Gumpenberger in her O’Fallon home in August 2016.
According to the search warrants, a police investigator found an astounding connection with the $900 cash and other money in Hupp's home. A CSI agent reported finding another $100 bill in Hupp's dresser, with a serial number identifier matching those in Gumpenberger's pocket.
A police officer wrote in the warrant, “It’s extremely uncommon for two people who reportedly do not know each other, to individually possess $100 denominations...which contain the same identifiers (and) serial numbers...In order.”
Officers also noted finding a murder mystery book titled "Guilty as Sin," as well as a carpet swatch they believe Hupp used as a doormat. The piece of carpet was noted as suspicious. An officer wrote, “The swatch of carpet ...may have been strategically placed (underneath Gumpenberger) after (the shooting).”
Hupp's defense attorneys at the law firm of Kessler-Williams told our partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “We have yet to receive a single piece of discovery directly from the State.”
More stories related to this case:
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U.S. Attorney discusses review of Faria murder
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