People Magazine Investigates is shedding light on the murder of Louis Gumpenberger by Pam Hupp, who was also charged with the murder of her friend, Betsy Faria.
In 2005, Gumpenberger was in a car accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury. But that didn’t hold the 33-year-old father of two back from pursuing his goals.
On Aug. 16, 2016, Gumpenberger had a job interview with a company that helped disabled people, but he didn’t show up.
Relatives began to worry because it was unlike him to miss the interview when he was eager to start working again.
After Gumpenberger was reported missing, relatives learned that he had been shot to death inside Hupp’s home in O’Fallon, Missouri.
Hupp told authorities that she shot Gumpenberger in self-defense when he tried to break into her home. She added that he demanded they go to the bank and get Russ’ money.
Pam Hupp told authorities the robbery was orchestrated by Russ Faria
Russ was Betsy’s husband, and he was initially charged with her murder after finding her dead in their home in Troy, Michigan.
When he called 911, he told dispatchers that he believed Betsy, who had been diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, had committed suicide, but an autopsy showed that she had been stabbed over 50 times.
The police immediately considered Russ a person of interest.
During his trial, Hupp testified. She said that Russ was a horrible husband to Betsy. She also stated that Russ would often tell his wife that he wished she was dead.
On Nov. 21, 2013, Russ was found guilty of killing his wife, and the following month, he was sentenced to life with an additional 30 years in prison.
During an interview in February 2014 with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Fox 2, Russ said he did not kill his wife.
In 2015, the judge granted Russ that ended with a not guilty verdict. After serving three and a half years in prison, Russ was released from the Lincoln County Jail on June 16, 2015.
The following year, he filed a lawsuit. Russ claimed that the insurance company gave Hupp his wife’s life insurance money “erroneously and prematurely.”
Investigators learned that four days before Betsy was killed, she made a change to her $150,000 life insurance policy.
She removed her husband and added Hupp as the beneficiary.
Hupp told the police that Russ wanted the insurance money. That’s why she said he ordered Gumpenberger to try to kidnap her, force her to go to the bank, and then kill her.
Pam Hupp was arrested after evidence proved the robbery was staged
Police officials found money and a note with instructions to kill Hupp in Gumpenberger’s pocket, but they said she planted it there.
An investigation revealed she lured Gumpenberger into her car after she posed as a Dateline producer and said she would pay him to reenact a 911 call.
Before Gumpenberger’s murder, surveillance footage captured Hupp trying to lure another woman into her car, but her attempt was unsuccessful.
On Aug. 23, 2016, Hupp was arrested for Gumpenberger’s murder.
In 2019, Hupp entered an Alford plea to avoid the death penalty, and she was sentenced to life in prison.
Two years later, in July, prosecutors charged Hupp with murder and armed criminal action in connection with Betsy’s death.
Investigators believe she killed Betsy after picking her up from her round of chemotherapy, then framed Russ for the murder.
People Magazine Investigates airs Saturdays on 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.