Pam Hupp: 5 Things About The Convicted Murderer Renée Zellweger Is Playing In New NBC Series

Oscar winner Renée Zellweger transforms into Pam Hupp for the new series 'The Thing About Pam.' Here's everything you need to know about the real-life convicted killer Renée is playing.

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Renée Zellweger is headed to TV to play Pam Hupp in the NBC series The Thing About Pam. The show premieres on March 8 and also stars Josh Duhamel, Judy Greer, and Katy Mixon. The Thing About Pam will chronicle the shocking chain of events that started with the 2011 murder of Betsy Faria.

So, who is Pam Hupp? This real-life person is at the center of The Thing About Pam. From where she is now to her involvement in multiple deaths, HollywoodLife has rounded up 5 key things you need to know before diving deep into this true-crime series.

Renée Zellweger
Renée Zellweger as Pam Hupp. (NBC)

1. Pam Hupp inspired ‘The Thing About Pam.’

The series is based on the 2011 murder of Betsy Faria, which resulted in her husband’s conviction. Russ Faria insisted he didn’t kill her and was later exonerated. This brutal crime set off a chain of events that would expose a scheme with Pam at the center of it all. The shocking situation was examined in several episodes of Dateline NBC and was the subject of the 2019 hit podcast The Thing About Pam.

2. Pam Hupp murdered Louis Gumpenberger.

Pam shot and killed Louis Gumpenberger in August 2016. She claimed that he threatened to kill her and acted in self-defense. Investigators later determined that Louis, who had a brain injury, was approached by Pam posing as a Dateline producer. This was part of a plot Pam devised to frame Russ Faria, who she claimed had killed her friend Betsy. Pam entered an Alford plea in the Louis Gumpenberger murder case, which allowed her to avoid a death-penalty trial. She was sentenced to life in prison.

3. Pam Hupp is currently in prison.

You’re probably wondering: where is Pam Hupp now? She is currently serving a life sentence at the Chillicothe Correctional Center in Chillicothe, Missouri. She will spend the rest of her life there. She does not have the possibility of parole.

4. Pam Hupp was later charged in Betsy’s murder case.

In 2011, Pam’s friend Betsy, who was suffering from terminal cancer, was stabbed to death and found by her husband, Russ. Initially, Betsy’s husband was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for her murder. Pam was the last person to see Betsy alive and testified against Russ at the trial. His conviction was later overturned. Just days before Betsy’s murder, Betsy made Pam the beneficiary of a $150,000 life insurance policy instead of Russ.

In 2021, Pam was charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action for the murder of Betsy Faria. Pam pleaded not guilty to Betsy’s murder. In September 2021, the armed criminal action charge was dismissed. The court documents related to the case alleged that Pam murdered Betsy for financial gain and even “dipped Betsy’s socks in her own blood and spread it around the house to make it look like her husband killed her in a domestic assault.”

The death of Pam’s mother, Shirley Mae Neumann, has also cast speculation around Pam. Shirley was found dead at her home in 2013. The investigation initially concluded that Shirley died from blunt trauma to the chest after an accidental fall. When Pam was charged with Louis Gumpenberger, police reopened the investigation into Shirley’s death. The medical examiner changed the matter of Shirley’s death from “accidental” to “undetermined.” As of now, the case hasn’t progressed to any charges.

Renée Zellweger
Renée Zellweger at ‘The Thing About Pam’ screening. (Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock)

5. Pam Hupp was married. 

Pam was married to Mark Hupp for 26 years. He filed for divorce in 2020 and said their marriage was “irretrievably broken.” Pam and Mark had stayed married through the trial of Louis Gumpenberger.