A Nebraska mechanic thought he had found a great match when a “gorgeous” woman walked into his shop — he would never see her in person again after they dated for two weeks, but for years he associated her name with vandalism, arson and tens of thousands of threatening calls and texts.
When Dave Kroupa brought single mother Cari Farver back to his apartment after getting drinks in 2012, the pair passed Kroupa’s then ex-girlfriend Liz Golyar, who was collecting some of her things. Golyar met Kroupa on a dating site and they saw each other for six months.
This chance meeting would change the course of their lives — unbeknownst to Kroupa, Golyar would be charged with Farver’s murder four years later, after her bizarre campaign to impersonate the dead woman to harass Kroupa was exposed.
At the time, Farver told him the awkward run-in “wasn’t a big deal,” and that she wasn’t looking for anything serious, according to the new Netflix documentary “Lover, Stalker, Killer.”
It came as a shock to Kroupa when, hours after saying goodbye to Farver after spending a night together, he received a text from her number asking if they could “move in together now.”
Kroupa, now 47, told filmmakers he was busy at work and sent a dismissive reply.
In response, he received a deluge of text messages that were “pinging, pinging, pinging” throughout the morning.
“I hate you,” read text messages he assumed were from Farver. “You ruined my life… I never want to see you again.”
In the documentary, which premiered Friday, Kroupa recalled that he thought he “dodged a bullet.” But despite the finality of the messages, it would not be the last he heard from “Farver.”
Farver’s family reported her missing to police in the following months. Her bank account was untouched, she had left her teenage son in her mother’s care without any indication that she wouldn’t be returning and, finally, she missed her brother’s wedding.
Farver’s mother, Nancy Raney, told ABC News she also received strange text messages from her “daughter,” with one claiming that she had taken a new job in Kansas. But Raney said her daughter refused to speak on the phone.
Pottawatomie County (Iowa) Sheriff’s Office detectives Ryan Avis and Jim Doty later came to the conclusion that Farver was likely killed that November 2012 day when the threatening text messages began, according to the documentary.
Farver’s body has never been recovered — but in a 2016 search of her car, police found dried blood under the driver’s seat upholstery that matched her DNA profile.
Over the next four years, until Golyar’s 2016 arrest, Kroupa received 18,000 threatening emails and 50,000 text messages from accounts he believed were Farver’s.
His former partner and the mother of his children, Amy Flora, and her two children were also threatened in the text messages.
Golyar, whom Kroupa unwittingly dated on and off through the campaign of terror, lodged threats against herself while impersonating Farver.
“We’d be hanging out on a Saturday, and both of our emails would start blowing up at the same time,” Kroupa said.
Detectives later learned that Golyar used communications software to mask her identity and schedule texts and emails in advance, often sending threatening communications from “Farver” to herself and Kroupa while they were spending time together.
Golyar took the staging a step further — several weeks after the harassment began, she reported alleged vandalism in her garage to Omaha police.
“Upon pulling into the garage, she found that someone had written … ‘Whore from Dave’ on the inside” in spray paint, Kroupa told ABC News.
Kroupa and Golyar’s house and cars were vandalized several more times that year, all while Kroupa’s texts from “Farver” indicated that she was close by.
“My favorite thing to do is stand outside and stare at you,” one message read, according to the documentary.
“On one specific occasion, I was sitting in my La-Z-Boy with my feet up, watching TV, trying to relax, and it’s nighttime and I get a text saying, ‘I see you. You’re sitting in your chair with your feet propped up, wearing a blue shirt.’ And those things were true,” Kroupa told ABC News.
But police were unable to pinpoint the source of the messages, the documentary noted.
In August 2013, Golyar’s house burned down, killing her pet dogs, a cat and a snake. Kroupa’s apartment had also been burgled that year. Frightened for his safety, Kroupa picked up and moved to a new city.
But the harassment continued after he posted his photo to an online dating site to try to meet women.
With the help of digital forensic specialist Anthony Kava, detectives finally traced the thousands of messages back to a single IP address belonging to Golyar in 2015. However, although they suspected her, they still did not have enough evidence to arrest her for Farver’s killing.
But in December 2015, Golyar contacted police claiming that Flora, the mother of Kroupa’s children, had shot her in the leg and had been harassing her.
But detectives quickly surmised that Golyar shot herself in an effort to frame Flora, according to the documentary.
Bizarrely, Golyar willingly signed a consent form allowing police to look through her phone when she tried to file a harassment complaint against Flora a day before she was shot, which turned up evidence that would be valuable in the case against her.
Meanwhile, Kroupa’s 9mm Smith & Wesson had recently disappeared. In her interview with detectives the day before sustaining her self-inflicted bullet wound, Golyar correctly identified the make and model of Kroupa’s gun and said she thought Flora had stolen it.
“I found it highly suspicious that the day before she felt the need to tell me that Dave Kroupa’s gun had been stolen… and less than 24 hours later, she is shot,” Avis told ABC. “It was pretty quickly determined that most likely Liz Golyar had shot herself.”
Doty and Avis came up with a plan to get Golyar to implicate herself in Farver’s disappearance. They told the woman that they believed Flora had shot her, and that she was also involved in Farver’s vanishing.
The detectives asked Golyar to contact Flora and try to get information that would implicate her. Almost immediately, detectives said, Golyar began fabricating emails from Flora confessing to shooting Golyar. Eventually, “Flora” claimed in the fabricated emails that she stabbed Farver “three or four times” and stuffed her into a garbage bag.
When detectives told Golyar they would need more information, she provided them with more emails from “Flora” in which she recounted killing Farver in her own car. This prompted detectives to search the vehicle and finally find Farver’s blood.
After Golyar was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in 2016, investigators recovered photos of Farver’s body — a human foot with a tattoo matching Farver’s — in an SD card that was in Golyar’s phone.
Later that year, Golyar was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. She is incarcerated at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women. According to the documentary, she still maintains her innocence and that Farver’s real killer is at large.
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