Pam Hupp charged with murder of Betsy Faria; prosecutor seeking death penalty

Missouri

LINCOLN COUNTY, Mo. – The Lincoln County Prosecutor has charged Pam Hupp with the 2011 murder of Betsy Faria. She is also charged with Armed Criminal Action.

Michael Wood, the Lincoln County Prosecuting Attorney, said he will seek the death penalty in this case.

“I do not take lightly the decision to pursue the death penalty but this case stands alone in its heinousness and depravity such as it shocks the conscience,” said Wood.

Betsy Faria was stabbed to death more than 50 times in 2011. Police and prosecutors at the time mistakenly focused on the victim’s husband, Russ Faria.

Russ Faria was in the courtroom today to see the justice he sometimes doubted would ever come.

“By reading the probable cause statement they put everything in perspective the way it should’ve been back then and it feels good that publicly they’re coming out and saying,” said Faria.

Wood said that after a complete investigation, he came to the conclusion that beyond a reasonable doubt Pamela Hupp killed Betsy Faria and her motivation was simple: greed.

A five-page probable cause document lays out why it’s obvious Russ Faria was not the killer. It points out his air-tight alibi, tracking of his cell phone, and lack of any evidence connecting him to the crime.

Investigators also laid out pages of evidence against Hupp, much of what has been reported in the FOX Files over the years like Hupp’s cell phone tracking and Betsy’s life insurance in which Hupp benefited.

But there was also new evidence like investigators believing the killer used Betsy’s socks when handling the murder weapon and swiping a light switch.

The document points out bloodstains on the socks resemble impressions of fingers and not toes. The position of the socks on the victim’s feet suggests they were placed on the victim after she expired.

The court documents go on to state investigators believe the killer placed the socks on his/her hands after the murder occurred to plant evidence onto the crime scene and then put the socks back on the victims after accomplishing his/her goal.

The probable cause document also says the heavy amount of blood on the socks occurred as a result of the perpetrator transferring blood from the victim’s body to the knife and slipper while holding those objects with the socks, and then dipping the objects into the blood.

DNA analysis conducted at a later date proves that the blood on the knife, light switch, slippers, and baseball cap belonged to the victim.

Wood also said for the past six months, the new Lincoln County Sheriff put his best detectives on the case and they were able to come to the resolution presented in the probable cause statement.

“For a decade, this case has loomed large as a dark cloud over Lincoln County,” said Wood.

The prosecuting attorney said that when he was elected in 2018 he knew there had to be a thorough review of the facts surrounding Betsy Faria’s death.

“It’s an obligation I owe to the family of Betsy Faria and the citizens of this county,” explained Wood.

FOX 2 has followed the story surrounding Betsy Faria’s death for nearly ten years. Already stricken with breast cancer in its late stages, she was stabbed to death on Dec. 27, 2011.

Her husband, Russ, was convicted in 2013 for the murder after a Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office investigation used Pam Hupp as a star witness. Hupp was the last person to see Betsy Faria alive.

Russ Faria was released from prison in 2015 and was exonerated in a second trial later that year. The second trial revealed all of the evidence in the murder of Russ’ wife, including evidence—and motive—pointing to Hupp as the possible killer. Lincoln County ultimately settled a civil lawsuit with Russ Faria over his prosecution for more than $2 million.

In 2016, Hupp was accused of shooting and killing Louis Gumpenberger in a plot to deflect the heat she was feeling from law enforcement outside of Lincoln County as federal investigators were looking into Hupp.

In June 2019, Hupp submitted an Alford plea to avoid the death penalty in the Gumbpenberger case. She admitted that the state of Missouri had enough evidence to convict her of Gumpenberger’s murder.

At present, Hupp is serving a life sentence in a Missouri state prison after attempts to have her plea thrown out were rejected in court. Lincoln County prosecutors say a cold case investigation of Betsy Faria’s murder could yield an announcement sometime later this summer or fall.

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