On December 27, 2011, in a small town outside of St. Louis, Missouri, Russ Faria called 911. His wife, Betsy, was lying in a pool of blood, dead, with a kitchen knife protruding from her neck. The house was in disarray, with shopping bags and Christmas decorations scattered on the floor.
Russ had been at game night with some friends that evening. When he returned home to the horrific, heartbreaking scene, Russ said, his first thought was that Betsy had taken her own life. Considering Betsy’s history of depression and her prolonged battle with cancer, it was the only thing that made any sense to him. But then, first responders found over 50 stab wounds in Betsy’s body. A search of the house turned up a pair of Russ’s slippers in the bedroom closet, stained with Betsy’s blood. This was a homicide. And Russ Faria was the prime suspect.
Join us at the quiet end for Pam’s Path to Prison. As it turns out, Betsy Faria’s murder was just the beginning in a chain of bizarre events involving Betsy’s friend, Pam Hupp. Pam would tell police all about the troubles in Betsy and Russ’s marriage. In fact, things had gotten so bad between them, Pam said, that Betsy had changed her life insurance policy’s beneficiary from Russ to Pam. But, over time, Pam changed and embellished her story with detectives, raising questions about her credibility and the depths of her conniving and malicious nature. Was Pam really Betsy’s best friend, or was she a stone-cold killer who put her own greed above all else?
A Case of Instantaneous Rigor?, International Journal of Legal Medicine, 127(5): 971-974
Cadaveric Spasm, Forensic Science, Medicine, & Pathology 9(2): 249-250
Dateline NBC episodes: The House on Sumac Drive (2014), Game Night (2015), Return to Game Night (2016), Stranger Than Fiction (2016), The Thing About Pam (2019)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch Archives, 2012-2021
The Thing About Pam Podcast, Dateline
The Unimaginable, Infamous Case of Pam Hupp: A tangle of lies, greed, sex, and death—and a surprise arrest, Jeanette Cooperman, St. Louis Magazine, 1/19/2017