ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – Fox 2 has acquired Pam Hupp’s first police interview after she was convicted of murder last week in the shooting death of Louis Gumpenberger.
With Hupp’s Alford plea and conviction, the interview was made available to the public.
In August 2016, right after Hupp shot and killed Gumpenberger, who she reported to be an attacker, she voluntarily went to the O’Fallon Police headquarters to tell her story.
Hupp repeatedly told detectives she was the victim.
“I just want to find out what’s going on with all these people coming at me,” she said.
Detective Kevin Mountain was one of two officers who challenged Hupp.
“She obviously believed she was going to pull one over on us,” Mountain said.
During the interview, Hupp said, “I hit his arm with the knife and then shot out of the car and ran inside.”
Hupp claimed Gumpenberger attacked her in the driveway.
“He goes b****, we’re going to the bank and we’re getting Russ’ money, and he starts getting all agitated and excited,” she said.
Officers soon learned “Russ” was Russ Faria, a man wrongfully convicted for his wife Betsy’s 2011 murder. Faria was exonerated in 2015 after it came out in court that Hupp had a motive to kill Betsy.
Hupp benefitted from the victim's life insurance policy while trying to frame Russ Faria for the murder.
Now here was Hupp again pointing the finger at Russ Faria.
She claimed Gumpenberger was dropped off by a squealing car.
She described the driver: “When he started to whip around, all I saw was like a dark, dome short hair like you. Maybe not quite as short but it was dark.”
Detective Mountain said it seemed as though Hupp were trying to describe Russ Faria.
While he was interviewing Hupp, more than a dozen other officers were poking holes in Hupp’s story. They found Hupp bought the supposed attacker’s knife at the Dollar Tree, along with the notepad and pen used to write the fake ransom note. Investigators traced Hupp’s cellphone to Gumpenberger’s home where she picked him up. They also found surveillance video revealing Hupp attempted to kidnap someone else just days earlier.
“All the hours we put in to get to the truth and then to know the whole time she was not being truthful to us,” Mountain said.
The detective said he’ll never forget how Hupp described the man she’d just murdered.
“He was getting all excited and he was (Hupp impersonates someone struggling to talk),” she said. “I thought he was drunk or on drugs or something.”
Mountain said he’s still bothered by that interview.
“That haunts me because he clearly just didn’t mean anything to her,” he said.
He said Hupp did tell the truth at one point – when she described shooting her victim.
“I just started shooting him, walking towards him, because I wanted to be sure I hit him because everybody kept saying that’s a little gun, blah blah blah,” she said. “So once (Gumpenberger) opened the door and he was there, I just started shooting, walking towards him, until I didn’t have anymore.”
Hupp voluntarily spoke to detectives for nearly four hours that first day. Detective Mountain said she continued talking in hopes to convince police of her story.
“It didn’t sound like somebody who was really in fear for her safety,” Mountain said.