The True Crime Series Makes You Question Your Closest Relationships

By Charlene Badasie | Published

The 2022 true-crime comedy-drama The Thing About Pam is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. The six-episode series is based on the 2011 murder of Betsy Faria and the subsequent investigation and legal proceedings surrounding the case. The central figure in the story is Pam Hupp, the woman who played a significant role in the events leading up to Betsy’s murder.

Renee Zellweger Stars In The Thing About Pam

The Thing About Pam unfolds in Troy, Missouri, where Betsy Faria (Katy Mixon), a cancer-stricken woman, is found murdered in her home. She is discovered by her husband Russ Faria (Glenn Fleshler), who calls 911 and hysterically tells the operator that his wife took her own life. When police arrive on the scene, they take Russ in for questioning and name him the prime suspect.However, The Thing About Pam focuses on the titular Pam Hupp (Renee Zellweger), a self-appointed “businesswoman” who becomes entangled in the investigation after it is established that she was the last person to see Betsy alive. Russ goes on trial for murder and is found guilty by the small-town judge, who is friends with prosecutor Leah Askey (Judy Greer).

A Sinister Scheme Unravels

Russ’s lawyer, Joel Schwartz (Josh Duhamel), works to get his client’s conviction overturned as holes appeared in Pam’s testimony. Meanwhile, television producers wanted to dedicate several episodes of Dateline NBC to Betsy’s story, which details Pam’s past and makes her a suspect. The Thing About Pam eventually reveals a diabolical scheme that shocks the authorities.

Comedy May Not Have Been The Best Route

The Thing About Pam debuted on NBC in March 2022. Renée Zellweger’s performance was widely praised, marking a successful transition to television for the Academy Award-winning actress. However, critics and viewers slammed the use of comedy to recount an actual murder. As a result, the series holds a 46 percent critics score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes alongside a 56 percent audience score.

The Real-Life Trial

While The Thing About Pam only consists of six episodes, the real-life case continued for years. In June 2019, following Pam Hupp’s acceptance of an Alford plea for a different murder, Lincoln County prosecuting attorney Mike Wood reopened the Betsy Faria homicide investigation. In October 2019, Wood sought a case review from the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis.On July 8, 2021, Hupp was interviewed regarding Betsy’s murder for the first time. Subsequently, on July 12, 2021, Wood formally charged Hupp with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in relation to Betsy Faria. In court documents, Wood stated that Hupp killed Betsy for financial gain and expressed intent to seek the death penalty due to the “heinousness and depravity” of the crime.Wood also revealed his intention to investigate prosecutorial misconduct during the initial murder investigation seen in The Thing About Pam, stating that it was marred by mismanagement from the outset and influenced by confirmation bias against Russ. He proposed that the conduct of investigators and prosecutors could amount to gross negligence or “calculated criminal behavior.”

Stream The Thing About Pam On Amazon

The most shocking revelation in The Thing About Pam is that the real Hupp is still waiting to stand trial in Greene County, Missouri, within the 31st Judicial Circuit, to secure an impartial jury. In October 2023, the Lincoln County Prosecutor’s Office announced plans to refile the case, seeking a venue closer to St. Louis for logistical reasons. The trial is set for 2025.