When doctors diagnosed Betsy Faria with breast cancer in 2010, her friend Pamela "Pam" Hupp became her constant companion. Hupp drove Betsy to her chemotherapy appointments and spent almost every day with her. Betsy even made Hupp the beneficiary of her $150,000 life insurance policy. Shortly after the pair finalized the decision, Betsy was found murdered in her home, and Hupp was the last person to see her alive.
However, rather than suspecting Hupp of any involvement in her friend's murder, investigators turned their attention to Russ Faria, Betsy's husband. Over a decade later, authorities finally charged Hupp - who was already in prison for another murder.
In 2010, Pamela Hupp Began Caring For Her Friend Betsy Faria, Who Was Battling Cancer
Pamela Hupp met Betsy Faria in 2001 while working at a State Farm insurance office, but the two eventually lost touch. Not until Faria was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 did Hupp reenter her life. In fact, Hupp took Faria to nearly all of her chemo treatments and was there for her final appointment on December 27, 2011.
A family friend had taken Faria to her treatment, but Hupp showed up anyway, claiming she hadn't received Faria's text. Texts between Betsy and her husband, Russ Faria, showed that Hupp had offered to give her a ride home; however, Hupp later told authorities that Faria had asked for the ride.
In some versions of her testimony, Hupp said she merely dropped Faria off at her home, though she would later say she had helped Faria get into bed. In any event, Pam Hupp turned out to be the last person to see Betsy Faria alive.
Betsy's Husband, Russ Faria, Came Home One Night To Find Her Dead
Russ Faria had been running errands and hanging out with friends the evening of December 27. When he returned home sometime after 9 pm, he found Betsy dead on their living room floor. Betsy's wrists had been slashed, and a kitchen knife was lodged in her neck. Reportedly, Russ initially suspected his wife had taken her own life since she had attempted to do so before. She had also just restarted chemo after discovering that the cancer - which she thought she had beaten - had spread to her liver.
Despite Russ's assertion to police that his wife died by suicide, the discovery of 55 stab wounds to Betsy's abdomen quickly led investigators to homicide. The medical examiner estimated that Betsy had been dead for over an hour by the time Russ found her.
Russ Faria Quickly Became A Suspect In His Wife's Murder
Police began searching the Faria home after suspecting foul play. In the back of Russ's closet, authorities discovered a pair of his slippers stained with Betsy's blood and immediately deemed him a suspect. Police were also suspicious of Russ's behavior; although he sounded distraught on the phone, he spoke calmly with police when they arrived and even laughed at one point. One officer described Russ as having "limited tears" during the crime scene investigation, while another said Faria's reactions were "over the top."
Russ Faria was taken to the police station and questioned for 10 hours, where he maintained he had not killed his wife. He was eventually charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action on January 4, 2012.
Hupp Was The Sole Beneficiary Of Faria's Life Insurance Policy
In the aftermath of Betsy Faria's murder, investigators learned she had made Pam Hupp the sole beneficiary of her life insurance policy. The two had gone to a local library to sign the paperwork in front of a witness on December 23, just four days before Faria was found murdered. Hupp would later claim that Faria made this decision because she worried that if Russ was the beneficiary, he might "p*ss it away." She reportedly also feared her two daughters would squander it, as well.
Hupp said she intended to set up a trust for Faria's daughters with the life insurance payout she received from Faria's death. Later, however, police discovered she had emptied the trust and taken all of the money.
Russ Faria Had An Alibi But Failed A Polygraph Test
All four friends who had been with Russ Faria the night Betsy was murdered vouched for his whereabouts and said he hadn't left their game night until 9 pm. Security footage also showed Russ stopping at two gas stations, and he had a fast food receipt time-stamped at 9:09 pm. Even if Russ had murdered his wife, he would have had only nine minutes at most to do so.
Russ's attorney, Joel Schwartz, noted that Russ was also wearing the same clothes from the security footage, though no blood was found on the clothing. As for the bloodied slippers, it looked as though they had been dipped in blood, and there was no blood spatter on the tops of the slippers.
Russ Faria did fail the polygraph test administered by police, but the results were questioned since he had been awake for approximately 32 hours and had admitted to smoking marijuana with his friends at game night.
Russ Faria Was Found Guilty Of Murdering His Wife But Was Later Acquitted
Russ Faria's murder trial began on November 18, 2013. The prosecutor, Leah Askey, pointed to Russ's "temper" and the fact that he "[smoked] pot" as a way to discredit his character. Askey also theorized that there was no blood on his clothes because he had murdered Betsy in the nude, then dressed before police arrived. Despite Russ's defense team citing lack of evidence and Pam Hupp's possible involvement, the jury found Russ guilty after only four and a half hours of deliberation.
When Joel Schwartz learned that Pam Hupp had taken the life insurance money meant for Betsy's daughters, Russ was given a new trial in 2015. The trial was held with a judge but no jury, and after hearing new evidence that had not been allowed in the previous trial, the judge acquitted Russ of murdering Betsy.
Russ Faria would later win a $2 million settlement for his wrongful conviction.