Her mother was found stabbed to death. Now she’s using TikTok to stop Hollywood glamourising her death
Meterariah Day was 17 when her cancer-stricken mother Betsy Faria was found stabbed to death in her Missouri home in 2011.
Her stepfather, Ras Faria, was arrested the next day for murder, was wrongfully convicted at trial, and was later acquitted at a retrial in 2015 after serving four years in prison.
Many of you will be familiar with these details thanks to NBC’s dark comedy series Pam thingin which Renee Zellweger plays Pam Hope, a former friend of Mr. Faria, who was charged with murder last summer.
What may be less obvious is that Ms. Day lost her parents in high school and then had to face years of court cases, with intense media coverage, in a case in a divided community in her hometown of Troy.
Ms Dai told independent After her mother died, she fell into a black hole of grief and depression, turning to alcohol and prescription drugs to numb the pain.
“I’m not coping in the healthiest way,” Ms Dai said independent.
Hupp was a key state witness in Russ Faria’s first trial, as a string of prosecution errors meant she was ignored as a suspect.
Although she persuaded Betsy to make her the sole beneficiary of a $120,000 life insurance policy and the last person to see her alive. Hupp is awaiting trial for Betsy’s murder and serving a life sentence for the 2016 murder of Louis Gumpenberger.
Media coverage of the case focused on Hepp’s bizarre behavior on the witness stand and police interviews, and was widely covered on NBC’s flagship current affairs show Date line. Later became a podcast, then a TV series About Pam, It first aired earlier this year.
Ms. Day said she was contacted about a year ago by an NBC staffer who said they were interested in making a “mini-documentary” about the saga and was led to believe it would focus more on her mother, who is A much-loved DJ who loves traveling and building conversations with strangers.
Instead, her family was relegated to secondary roles, while her mother’s alleged murderer took center stage, played by Hollywood A-listers in oversized suits.
She and her sister Leah could only watch the first few episodes and then shut it down in disgust.
“I thought ‘did this really happen?’ There were a lot of mistakes, factual errors and over-drama,” she told independent.
Her misguided criticism and the show’s derisive tone were echoed by a former police officer investigating a murder who told independent In April, production was “despicable”.
“It was like they were laughing at what we were going through,” Ms Day said.
“They’re trying to make it look weird, but they’re playing with our lives.”
The experiences that led to her PTSD, nightmares, anxiety and depression are rewritten as a funny story of a quirky killer for the entertainment of others.
Ms Dai decided to retell the story of her mother’s tragic death in a series of posts on TikTok.
Collectively, the often confrontational clips, which garnered more than a million views, provided insight into her grief, through which Ms Dai discovered an online community that shared her insensitivity to certain true crime shows disgusted by the nature.
“I’m wondering if I’m getting too close to the story? But there are a lot of other people telling me they have to turn it off because it’s so disrespectful,” she told independent.
Ms. Dai said she was surprised by the mostly positive reactions on her TikTok.
“My sister and I got hit so much on social media by people who thought we betrayed our stepfather. I never thought I would find a support system like this on TikTok.”
She started using the hashtag #ethicaltruecrime and said podcast and TV makers need to rethink their approach to the genre to put victims and their families first.
NBC did not respond to a request for comment.
in a recent statement buzzing, A spokesman said the show was a fictional show based on real events.
“Since the project started, it has been a priority for the creative team to respect the spirit of the story, while being sensitive and respectful to the real people affected – many of whom have shared their experiences as part of the process.”
Ms. Dai’s response was lacklustre.
“We have to see (Hupp’s) face more often and see her name everywhere, not the life she took. We are real people. We have to deal with people who know this is our trauma.
“It would be nice for them to show more respect when they create the show.”
Ms. Day has begun advocacy on behalf of other victims, giving her first public address this weekend at the True Crime Podcast Festival in Dallas.
True crime fans play a big role in forcing journalists and networks to reconsider their approach to the genre, she said.
“If it’s disgusting and disrespectful to the family, turn it off. If we keep giving these people opinions or ratings, they’ll keep making them.”
“We’re trying to get to a place where morally true crime can be a thing.”
Ms Dai, 28, mother of a three-year-old son and five-month-old girl, said she had learned to deal with pain.
“Now I have a better support system, I’m a mom now, and my kids keep me grounded. I have to discover healthy coping mechanisms on my own.”