Russ Faria has filed a civil lawsuit against State Farm, accusing the company of giving his deceased wife’s life insurance to the wrong person. State Farm paid out the claim to a woman named Pam Hupp, an alleged friend of Faria’s wife, Betsy. Strangely, Hupp became the beneficiary of Betsy Faria’s life insurance policy just four days before her murder.
Betsy Faria, who at the time was terminally ill with cancer, was brutally stabbed to death in her home in 2011. Her husband, Russ Faria was wrongfully convicted of her murder in 2013. Faria appealed his conviction and was exonerated in 2015.
Faria’s civil suit alleges that State Farm did not properly change the beneficiary on the policy. According to FOX 2 St. Louis, the change form was not imaged by State Farm until the day after Betsy’s death, making it incomplete. Faria’s attorney, Bevis Schock, suggested that the payout should have been held by State Farm due to the controversy surrounding the case, telling FOX 2 “that the insurance company had no right to rely on information from the Lincoln County Prosecuting Attorney that Hupp was not a suspect, when it paid her.”
As I have previously written, Hupp is certainly a controversial figure. She made herself available to investigators immediately after Betsy Faria’s murder, making it well known to anyone who would listen that she was a longtime friend of the murder victim. According to Hupp, the Farias had a rocky relationship, claiming that Betsy confided with her that her husband had been abusive. Hupp’s claims that Betsy talked about abuse have never been supported by anyone else in Betsy’s life, and Hupp is the only person seemingly willing to discuss the quality of their friendship.
Hupp’s actions shortly before Betsy’s murder were questionable to say the least. Hupp showed up at Betsy’s chemotherapy treatment on the day of the murder insisting that she drive Betsy home. When Betsy assured her that she already had a ride to her mother’s home, Hupp left only to show up later in the day at Betsy’s mother’s home, once again insisting that she drive Betsy home. Betsy accepted the ride on Hupp’s second attempt, making Hupp the last person to see Betsy Faria alive. Oddly, Hupp was never considered a suspect by police. Her willingness to talk early on caused her to be viewed as a friend who was just trying to help the investigation.
Hupp has changed her story repeatedly over the years. When first asked why Betsy abruptly changed the beneficiary on her life insurance policy, Hupp claimed that Betsy wanted to make sure her grown daughters received the life insurance payout and she did not trust her husband with the money.
In an act of pure deception designed to fool the court, Hupp set up a trust for Betsy’s daughters so it would appear that she was doing what was right. As a result, the court viewed Hupp favorably during Russ Faria’s first trial. Hupp went on to revoke the trust shortly after Faria’s conviction so that she could keep the money for herself.
Betsy Faria’s two daughters filed a lawsuit in April of 2014 claiming Hupp defrauded them out of $150,000 in life insurance. During the civil trial, Hupp changed her story drastically, stating that Betsy wanted her to keep the money for herself. She cited memory problems for her change of story. She told the court that her loss of memory was due to a traumatic brain injury and concussion syndrome. She provided no proof of her condition. When her husband was questioned in court about his wife’s medical status, he stated that her only ailment was a back injury.
Betsy’s daughters’ attorney Chris Roberts, told Fox2 News St. Louis that “they couldn`t keep track of how many times Hupp changed her story, including one time when she told Betsy`s family she gave all of the money to charity.”
Unfortunately, the court ruled that Hupp could keep the money, stating: “It is not possible from this limited evidence to determine with any specificity what Betsy’s intent was regarding the insurance proceeds, other than that stated on the beneficiary form.”
After the ruling, Hupp told FOX2 News St. Louis that she felt bad for the girls. But of course, Hupp did not feel quite bad enough to give them their mother’s life insurance money. Instead, she kept every penny of it.
The paperwork for Betsy Faria’s life insurance policy will now be looked at once again. Regardless of what the investigation uncovers during the current civil suit, common sense tells you that Pam Hupp is the last person who should have that money.
As things stand today, Betsy Faria’s murder remains unsolved, Russ Faria has been left to rebuild his life after spending over two years in prison as an innocent man, and Betsy Faria’s daughters have been ripped off.
I know they say that hindsight is 20/20, but it sure seems possible that this entire mess could have been avoided early on, if everyone involved with Betsy Faria’s murder investigation would have paid just a little bit more attention to Pam Hupp.