LINCOLN COUNTY, Mo. – Pam Hupp’s own words present some of the most haunting aspects of her mother’s death. FOX 2 put together this investigation in 2016 after acquiring the police report on Hupp’s fatal fall. We found interesting details about when Hupp last saw her mom, as well as unusual toxicology results. Meanwhile, as we continued the investigation into Hupp, former Lincoln County Prosecuting Attorney Leah Askey was sympathizing with her, even telling Hupp on video that she was being bullied.
The following script is from our original report, which aired Sept. 12, 2016.
To date, no prosecutor or police officer has ever interviewed Pam Hupp about the death of her mother.
However, Hupp herself has brought up her mom’s death. She’s also answered questions from FOX 2 reporter Chris Hayes.
Before her mom died, a Lincoln County investigator was talking to Pam Hupp about the coming Betsy Faria murder trial. It was June 2013. At one point, Hupp and the chief detective discussed Hupp’s mom.
Hupp told the Sergeant that her mother was a reason why she could not have killed Betsey Faria.
Pam Hupp said, “I really hate to say it. If I wanted money, my mom`s worth a half a million that I get when she dies. My mom has dementia and doesn`t half the time know who we are. She`s been living alone in a condo. And I know that sounds really morbid and stuff like that. But I am a life insurance person. If I really wanted money, there was an easier way than trying to combat somebody (Betsey) that`s physically stronger than me. I`m just saying.”
Four months after the interview Hupp’s mom, Shirley Neumann who was 77, fell to her death on Halloween. She went through a third floor balcony of a Fenton senior living community.
The top railing on the outdoor balcony was intact, but there was damage to the vertical bars. Police believed the damage was caused by Neumann’s fall. There were no witnesses and no video. Police called it an accident.
The St. Louis County police report says Hupp took her mom to the doctor and brought her back to the nursing home at 8 pm on the 30th and “told the staff if Shirley does not show up for breakfast to notify the family.” Shirley did not show up for breakfast and she did not show up for lunch. A housekeeper found her dead after 2:30 p.m. on Halloween. A medical examiner investigator noted Neumann’s “hands and skin were slightly ‘pruney’….likely from the ‘rain’”.
Neumann`s post mortem blood test found .84 micrograms of Ambien in her blood. Toxicologists say that`s more than eight times what you should have in your blood if you took a prescribed dose.
During FOX 2’s continuing investigation into Betsy Faria’s death, Chris Hayes decided on a cold January day to see if Hupp would talk to him.
Surprisingly, she talked for 30 minutes at her front door. Her mother had died two months earlier.
Hayes asked, ‘How did your mom die?”
Hupp replied, “How did my mom die?”
Hupp answered, “What do you mean?”
Hayes asked again, “What happened?”
Hupp paused and then said, “She died.”
Hupp continued, ‘Like the people in the home say she committed suicide, so I’m not quite sure what’s going on.”
Hayes followed up, “Really? Oh, I’m sorry to hear that…I mean just jumped?”
Hupp said, “I don’t know cause we don’t know what’s going on, so.”
Hayes asked, “Was she suicidal?”
Hupp said, “I don’t think so. I don’t know. How do you know with an Alzheimer’s patient?”
Hupp also said she was about to move her mom out of senior community, because she couldn’t afford to live there anymore.
More than a year later in 2015, Hupp was talking to Lincoln County prosecutor Leah Askey in a recorded pretrial meeting. Russ Faria was about to be retried for Betsy’s murder. They discussed the $150,000 life insurance proceeds Pam got and how Pam promised but then refused to give it to Betsy’s daughters.
Hupp said to Askey, ‘The more people kept telling me to do it, the more I didn`t want to do it. I didn`t.’
Askey acknowledged: ‘Right.’
Hupp: ‘It was really pissing me off.’
Askey laughed, ‘You were getting bullied.’
The women discussed trial strategy, complained about media coverage and then the topic shifted to Pam`s mother.
Hupp said, ‘People say I killed her. We had sold her house, her car and everything she owned and put her in a home. To everybody else on this planet I took a 210 pound woman and threw her through railings. How do you do that? How does a man do that?’
Prosecutor Askey never questioned the comment.
The St. Louis County Police Department is also asking for information from the public during its review of Shirley Neumann’s fatal fall.
Pam Hupp’s next court date in the St. Charles County murder case is October 12th.