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Where Is the Real Russ Faria Now?
As depicted in The Thing About Pam, Russ' life was upended when his wife, Betsy, was killed in 2011. Here's where he is now.
Russ Faria's life was upended by Pam Hupp. As we see in NBC's The Thing About Pam, Russ (played by Glenn Fleshler) found his wife, Betsy Faria (Katy Mixon on the show), stabbed to death in their home just two days after Christmas 2011. He immediately called 911, believing Betsy had died by suicide. However, to his dismay, he'd end up being charged with her murder.
Russ would go on to be wrongfully convicted for the murder in 2013 and was imprisoned, partly because of witness statements and testimony from Hupp (played by Renée Zellweger). However, two years later, Russ was granted a retrial and found not guilty. In 2018, eyes turned to Hupp, who is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of Louis Gumpenberger. In 2021, she was charged with Betsy's murder and is awaiting trial. She's pled not guilty.
Russ came out of the ordeal with his name cleared of wrongdoing. But what is he up to now? Read on to find out.
Where is the real Russ Faria now?
In 2020, five years after he was found not guilty of Betsy's murder, Russ was granted a $2 million settlement in a civil suit against the officers who mishandled the case that led to his conviction. According to Fox 2 Now, he now has a job at a motorcycle shop in Minnesota and works with the Midwest Innocence Project in his spare time. The nonprofit "provides resources for and about wrongfully-convicted individuals in the Midwest," according to its website.
And though 10 years have passed, Russ is still dedicated to finding justice for his wife. "Betsy had an award-winning smile and one of the biggest hearts of anybody you ever met," he told People. "I know she loved me, and I loved her."
As for his thoughts on Hupp? "The only words I can use to describe her are evil incarnate," he said. "I need closure. I need Pam to be convicted for this crime."
Did Russ Faria get engaged again or have a second wife?
At the end of the The Thing About Pam, it's revealed that Russ "is engaged to Carol," a.k.a Carol McAfee. This is true.
McAfee became involved in the saga not long after Russ was found not guilty. Hupp hatched a fatal plot to frame Russ. As we see it play out in The Thing About Pam, Hupp posed as a Dateline producer and drove through McAfee's trailer park, attempting to lure the woman into her car and to her home. Fortunately, McAfee's instincts told her something wasn't right, and she escaped. Six days later, Hupp allegedly approached Gumpenberger under the same guise. As we now know, she shot and killed him. McAfee may have narrowly avoided the same fate.
“Out of all this bad—and this bad, bad evil person," Russ told Fox 2 Now, "if it weren’t for [Hupp], I wouldn’t have met this lovely lady here."
McAfee added, “When [Betsy] was murdered, that was his wife. That doesn’t stop because she was murdered. I know part of his heart’s always going to be with her. I have to respect that because if he didn’t still love her, if he didn’t still think about her, if he didn’t miss her, I’d have to question his integrity. And if I wasn’t OK with that, I’d have to question my own.”
Does Russ Faria speak to Betsy Faria's family?
It was also revealed in the finale that Russ still doesn't speak to Betsy's daughters, Leah and Mariah Day (his stepdaughters), despite his exoneration. Sadly, this is true, too. Fleshler was able gather some insight on the situation when he spoke with Russ in preparation for the role.
"Almost an entire town turned on Russ, everybody thought that he did it, he only had a couple of people who stayed by his side," Fleshler told Newsweek. "Many family members, certainly Betsy's family, turned on him, and they were convinced of his guilt. It's not like they were doing it maliciously, they had had somebody near and dear ripped away from them. It's very painful in that way."
How does Russ Faria feel about the show, The Thing About Pam?
Fleshler told NBC Insider that when he spoke with Russ about his story and the series, the Minnesota native was open about his past and "excited" to see it all unfold on screen.
"[Russ] was so forthcoming with his story, including all of the painful details of what happened to him, which is just, his whole life was upended in an instant," Fleshler said. "It kept kind of going down this incredibly tough road for a long stretch of time. So, he just has a great perspective on it all. And he was very generous in sharing all that with me...He gave me a nice shout-out when he started seeing the trailers and stuff and said that his friends thought that I was him."