A series of episodes of NBC’s “Dateline” surrounding the murders of Elizabeth "Betsy" Faria in Lincoln County in 2011 and Louis Gumpenberger in St. Charles County in 2016 will be turned into a scripted TV series that will focus on Pamela Hupp, NBC announced this week.
Hupp is serving a sentence of life in prison without parole for Gumpenberger's fatal shooting at her O'Fallon, Mo., home. Prosecutors said his death was part of her amateurish plot to divert attention from herself in a re-investigation of the Faria murder.
They say she was trolling St. Charles County pretending to be a Dateline producer in an attempt to lure an unsuspecting visitor into her SUV, and then her home.
After Hupp got Gumpenberger home, she dialed 911 and pretended that he was trying to kidnap her before shooting him, prosecutors said. She entered what is known as an Alford plea to a murder charge, acknowledging that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict her without admitting guilt. Gumpenberger had mental and physical disabilities from a prior drunken-driving crash.
She has denied killing Faria. But Hupp was the last known person to see Faria alive and had been named the new beneficiary of a $150,000 life insurance policy days before Faria’s murder.
Faria's husband, Russell Faria, was initially convicted of her murder before that conviction was overturned in 2013 and he was acquitted in a retrial. Faria's lawyers were barred from blaming Hupp for the crime in the first trial. Neither side called her to testify in the second, after she changed her story about the Farias and the night of the murder multiple times.
Two insurance companies have agreed to pay just over $2 million to settle Russell Faria's misconduct claims against investigators, including that they failed to properly investigate Hupp.
The Post-Dispatch has investigated the Faria murder with KTVI (Channel 2) since 2013. The case has been featured in other news shows, and a feature-length movie and documentary are reportedly in the works.