LINCOLN COUNTY, Mo. – Convicted murderer Pam Hupp is at the center of two parallel investigations. FOX 2 was given exclusive access to the police war room where detectives are investigating both a murder and a previous police response.
Special Prosecutor Dulany Harms and Detectives Bill Wilcox and Mark Ehrhard are determined to find out why Pam Hupp escaped police scrutiny for so long.
“We hope to accomplish a thorough investigation that wasn’t done originally in this case,” Harms said.
Harms was brought in by Lincoln County Prosecutor Mike Wood to handle the murder case against Pam Hupp. Hupp, who’s already serving life in prison for Louis Gumpenberger’s 2016 murder, will now stand trial for Betsy Faria’s 2011 murder.
Hupp was charged with Faria’s murder in July 2021. Harms brought in Wilcox and Ehrhard, who have a combined 76 years of experience working for the St. Charles Police Department. Wood had moved the entire Faria investigative file out of Lincoln County and into St. Charles a few years ago in order to protect the integrity of the investigation.
“If this would’ve been handled correctly the first time, we wouldn’t be here,” Wilcox said.
Harms says it’s not about making a case – rather it’s about following the evidence.
“To see where it leads us,” he said. “Not direct us to one person, but to follow the evidence to the person or persons that did this murder.”
In 2011, the Former Lincoln County prosecutor and sheriff’s office focused on the wrong suspect: Betsy’s husband, Russ Faria.
“The decision was made within hours that it was Russ Faria and they just tried to fit everything – the proverbial square peg in a round hole,” Harms said.
FOX 2 exposed flaws in the case against Russ Faria, beginning in 2013, by uncovering evidence that pointed to Pam Hupp. The national news took notice, yet Faria served more than three years in prison before he was exonerated in a new trial.
That’s why Harms and his team are also investigating the police response that led to that wrongful conviction.
“This is the type of case that should be viewed by other law enforcement, when we’re done with this,” Wilcox said.
Harms added, “We’re going to look at everything and try to solve this problem and do a much better job going down the road.”
They cannot share specifics because their investigation is active, but Harms says several people in law enforcement could face criminal charges.
“I do think there are going to be some surprises, there is at least one related incident that we’re looking at and expect there may be something coming down with that in a few weeks, maybe a month,” he said.
Their investigation into law enforcement will be completed before Betsy Faria’s murder investigation, which likely won’t see a trial for years.