TROY, Mo. – The story, now a TV show and book, became the talk in homes across the country.

Renée Zellweger is playing convicted murderer Pam Hupp in an NBC miniseries called “The Thing About Pam.”

It started 11 years ago inside a home north of Troy, Missouri.

Betsy Faria was dying of cancer and didn’t have much time left. So why did someone stab her repeatedly, leaving her to die on the floor? The more we learned, we kept coming back with questions about a woman named Pam Hupp.

Russ Faria knows more than anyone. He was the only suspect in his wife’s murder a decade ago because of Pam Hupp’s accusations. Hupp claimed she was his wife’s best friend.

“I wouldn’t call her one of Betsy’s best friends,” Russ said. Pam was a friend and that was it.”

Imprisoned for more than three years, Faria often thought he would spend the rest of his life locked up for a murder he did not commit. He found his wife dead inside their living room on Dec. 27, 2011.

Eight days later, on Jan. 4, 2012, Faria was charged with murder. There was a curious probable cause statement. It’s three pages long and names a witness, which is very unusual. The witness was Pam Hupp. She was named in the court record 12 times.

The star witness

It was clear that Pam Hupp was the prosecution’s star witness.

The 2013 murder trial revealed a key fact the jury never heard. Pam Hupp not only insisted on driving Betsy home the night Betsy died, Hupp was also the only beneficiary of Betsy’s $150,000 life insurance policy.

Jurors were never told about the life insurance policy because that evidence was suppressed by a judge. Russ Faria’s attorney, Joel Schwartz, told us that evidence was enough to charge Pam Hupp with Betsy’s murder. He told us back in 2014, “Our counter was, appoint me as a special prosecutor and let me prosecute the right person and I’ll guarantee you a conviction.”

That $150,000 life insurance policy was signed into Hupp’s name four days before Betsy died. Only FOX 2 was in the courtroom when jurors convicted Russ Faria, which we now know was a wrongful conviction. Schwartz dropped his head in disbelief. Faria made the long slow walk to a jail cell, where he remained for years.

Betsy Faria hadn’t been dead two years when Pam Hupp’s mother mysteriously died on Halloween at a senior center apartment. It was days before Russ Faria went on trial (the first time) for Betsy’s murder.

The timing and details seemed odd to us. A woman with Alzheimer’s falls through–not over–a third-floor balcony? A woman just out of the hospital and who was last seen by Pam Hupp – was dead. And, according to Hupp, that same woman was planning to leave her $500,000.

Trolling neighborhoods to find a murder victim

It was first reported as a home invasion. Pam Hupp said she shot an intruder from her bedroom in self-defense and she had a 911 call to prove it. It turned out her motive for murder was to frame her old enemy, Russ Faria.

“When it happened, I think you were one of the first people I called,” Russ said.

An innocent man, Louis Gumpenberger, a single father with disabilities, lay dead on Hupp’s bedroom floor. And there was a handwritten note in the dead man’s pocket, along with $900 in cash. The note had instructions to kidnap Hupp. It also said to get Russ’ money.

Cellphone tracking revealed Hupp lured Gumpenberger from his apartment and drove him to her house, where she shot him to death. Investigators learned Hupp planted evidence, including a knife and money.

Detectives found Hupp bought the knife at a dollar store and there were nine $100 bills in Gumpenberger’s pocket. An investigator compared them to $100 bills on Hupp’s dresser. The serial numbers were in sequence – revealing that they were likely all withdrawn from the bank at the same time.

But the most haunting evidence came from Carol McAfee, who Hupp tried to lure six days earlier while randomly trolling neighborhoods.

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