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Russ Faria Talks Overcoming Triggers To Raise Awareness On Wrongful Convictions

Russ Faria and his defense attorney Joel Schwartz addressed CrimeCon 2022, reliving his wrongful conviction for his wife Betsy Faria's murder, a case dramatized in NBC's "The Thing About Pam."

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‘The People That You’re Laughing At In The Show Behaved Ridiculously In Real Life:’ Russ Faria And Defense Attorney Joel Schwartz On ‘The Thing About Pam’
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‘The People That You’re Laughing At In The Show Behaved Ridiculously In Real Life:’ Russ Faria And Defense Attorney Joel Schwartz On ‘The Thing About Pam’

Russ Faria was wrongfully convicted of his wife Betsy’s 2011 murder in Missouri. His defense attorney who helped him with his case, Joel Schwartz joined Faria at Crime Con 2022 in Las Vegas to discuss his story. The case was the focus of Dateline NBC’s “The Thing About Pam” podcast and a scripted series of the same name. Josh Duhamel portrays Schwartz and Glenn Fleshler portrays Faria with Renée Zellweger as Pamela Hupp.

Russ Faria, who was wrongfully convicted of his wife Betsy Faria's 2011 murder, was on hand at CrimeCon 2022, discussing the infamous case and telling attendees the he lives to advocate for others like him.

On Dec. 27, 2011, Faria found his wife with a knife protruding from her neck after someone had stabbed her 55 times in the couple’s Troy, Missouri home. Soon, he was arrested, tried and convicted for her murder. It was thanks to Faria’s attorney, Joel Schwartz, that Faria was retried in 2015, resulting in his exoneration.

The case was recently brought to television screens in the NBC hit series “The Thing About Pam,” which follows the story of Pamela Hupp (portrayed by Reneé Zellweger), a friend of Betsy who is now charged with her murder. (She's pleaded not guilty in the case.)

The audience asked Faria what motivated him to keep talking about the tragedy that turned his life upside down.

“There’s definitely a lot of triggers,” Faria admitted. “PTSD is very real; there are many of us here who have it. However, I have an agenda.”

Faria stated that it was this very agenda that has served as the source of his resilience and strength.

“I’m trying to raise awareness so that things that happened to me and Rodney Lincoln, guys like Ryan Ferguson - good friends of mine, by the way - don’t happen to anyone else,” said Faria, “We’re trying to raise awareness for wrongful convictions.”

When asked why there were so many cases of wrongful convictions, Schwartz said it boiled down to “human nature.”

“The system we have is the best system in the world,” said Schwartz. “Unfortunately, when you get somebody in who has some sort of motive, whether it’s personal gain, political gain, whatever the case may be, and they simply want to win, you end up like results like this.”

Faria hopes that by continuing to speak about his case – and with the success of the series – more people will talk about his cause.

“[We’re trying to] raise awareness for things like prosecutorial immunity, which a lot of people haven’t heard about,” said Faria. “And raise money for organizations like the Innocence Project, that’s doing very good things out there.”

Faria cited his faith in God and his family as reasons he is able to carry on with spreading awareness.

“There are lots of men in prison who don’t have the resources that I had,” he said.

You can watch the series “The Thing About Pam” on NBC.com or listen to the Dateline podcast here.

CrimeCon 2022 is produced by Red Seat Ventures and presented by Oxygen.

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