'Monster' Pamela Hupp Receives Life Sentence For Murder Of Man With Disability
Authorities say Hupp may have killed the victim to set up a frame-job for a second murder in which she is a possible suspect.
Missouri woman was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole after prosecutors say she killed a disabled man to hide her involvement in another slaying.
Pamela Hupp, 60, entered an Alford plea on Monday in the shooting death of Louis Gumpenberger, 33. The Alford plea means Hupp does not admit guilt but acknowledges the state has enough evidence to successfully convict her. In taking the plea, Hupp avoided a possible death penalty.
In addition to life without parole, Hupp was sentenced to 30 years for armed criminal action.
In 2016, Hupp called 911 after fatally shooting Louis Gumpenberger. She claimed Gumpenberger carjacked her with a knife and ordered her to drive to a bank.
Hupp told police that, during the hold-up, she knocked the knife from Gumpenberger's hand and ran inside her residence. When Gumpenberger forcibly followed her into the house, Hupp said, she shot him in self-defense.
Investigators said Gumpenberger's pockets contained $900 cash, double-bagged in plastic, and a handwritten note. The note, police said, instructed him to kidnap Hupp and drive her to the bank to get "Russ's money."
The note also allegedly stated Gumpenberger should kill Hupp so he could collect the remainder of a $10,000 fee for the murder-by-hire.
St. Charles Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar said Hupp purchased the knife and wrote the note herself. Lohmar further stated that a $100 bill found in Hupp's dresser was sequentially matched to serial numbers on four bills discovered in Gumpenberger's pocket.
According to police, the "Russ" mentioned in the note was a reference to Russell Faria. He told authorities he suspected Hupp was responsible for the 2011 stabbing death of his wife, Elizabeth "Betsy" Faria.
Hupp and Betsy Faria were allegedly friends, and one detective reportedly testified they were lovers. Police said Hupp was the last person to see Betsy Faria alive. In addition, cops said Betsy Faria made Hupp the beneficiary of a $150,000 insurance policy just days before she was killed.
In 2013, Russell Faria was convicted of murdering his wife. After serving more than two years behind bars, he won a new trial and was acquitted. His lawyers pointed to Hupp as an alternate suspect. To date, Hupp has not been charged in connection to that crime.
Following the murder of Gumpenberger, investigators said they pieced together a plot in which Hupp murdered the victim to throw police off the tracks of the 2011 crime. They further alleged she intended to frame Russell Faria for the slaying.
To that end, St. Charles prosecutor Lohmar said Hupp sought to lure a target, "who may not be sophisticated … [and] might be easily persuaded by a decent amount of cash." Gumpenberger suffered from mental impairment and physical disabilities, Lohmar added.
Krystal Conn, Gumpenberger's sister, was present for Hupp's sentencing. She told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch her brother's killer is a "monster" and "not human."
According to St. Louis's KMOV-TV, investigators are also looking into the 2013 death of Hupp's mother, Shirley Neumann. She fatally fell from a third-floor balcony at her senior living home, and a medical examiner has ruled the cause of death as "undetermined." Hupp was reportedly the last person to see her mother alive.