O’FALLON, Mo. • Pamela Hupp thought she found the “patsy” who could help get “some heat off her” related to a 2011 murder near Troy, Mo., officials said Tuesday.
She somehow lured a gullible, brain-damaged man into her car last week and took him to her home in O’Fallon, then called 911 and emptied a revolver into his body as an operator listened, they said.
Officials speculate that Hupp told Louis R. Gumpenberger, 33, that she was a producer for NBC’s “Dateline” program, and was willing to pay $900 to $1,000 for him to help her re-enact a 911 call.
When police arrived at her house to find Gumpenberger dead, Hupp told police that he had jumped into her vehicle and held a knife to her neck, demanding that she take him to her bank to get “Russ’ money.”
She claimed she broke away and ran into her house, grabbed a gun from her nightstand, and shot him when he entered the room.
Investigators later found a note in Gumpenberger’s pocket purporting to be instructions on how to kidnap Hupp to get “Russ’ money,” in exchange for $10,000. He also had $900 in cash in his pocket, but police don’t believe he put those things in his pockets himself.
“The evidence seems to indicate she hatched a plot to find an innocent victim and murder this innocent victim in an apparent effort to frame someone else,” St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar said at a news conference. Read more >>