In Lover, Stalker, Killer, Dave Kroupa, a mechanic, finds himself in peril when a woman he connected with online becomes dangerously fixated on him. The documentary is now streaming on Netflix.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
In 2000, Dave Kroupa, a mechanic, meets and falls in love with Amy Flora. Together, they start a family and have two kids.
However, since they had different shifts, the two grew apart. After separating from Amy, Dave moved to Omaha, Nebraska, where he started living his single life again.
In a new place where he doesn’t know anybody, he starts feeling lonely. After getting a job in the automotive industry, Dave explores online dating, looking for a casual relationship, and meets Liz Golyar.
Liz and Dave have a lot in common. Hence, it doesn’t take long for them to connect. However, everything changes when Cari Farver enters his life.
In a chance encounter, Cari Farver and Liz meet each other at Dave’s apartment. Cari worked three blocks from his apartment, which allowed them to spend a lot of time together.
Dave was happy, until one day, everything changed. Cari begins texting and asking Dave to move in with her.
Cari eventually calls it off with Dave and claims that he ruined her life. Dave moves on, believing that things didn’t work out between them.
However, Cari doesn’t stop texting him. She starts messaging him again a couple of days later. This time around, she begins threatening him, promising to ruin his life.
Cari’s mother filed a missing person’s report when she stopped getting a hold of her. The cops do approach Dave, who shows them her texts.
The cops assume that it was just a bad breakup—something that will heal over time. Cari texts her mother online, saying that she isn’t missing; she just doesn’t want to come home right now.
These texts eventually turn into two-worded messages and turn nastier. Meanwhile, Cari doesn’t let go of Dave either.
If not Dave, she starts to threaten his ex-girlfriend, Liz, telling her to stay away from Dave and blaming her for the end of their relationship.
Detective Chris Legrow picks up the case. He notices that Cari messages Dave as if she is right around the corner. She details the customer he is talking to at his work and what he is doing.
She should be around somewhere. Unfortunately, Legrow never finds her anywhere near Dave. Even the locals claim to have not seen Cari.
Cari continues to harass Liz as well. She sends Dave the pictures of Liz’s apartment and her clothes that have been torn as if someone has used a knife to kill the person.
It all comes to a point when Cari burns down Liz’s house. At a time like this, Dave comforts Liz.
After this incident, Liz moves. Dave feels alone and decides to move as well. He changes phones and plans to build a life away from Cari. The case soon goes cold.
Sergeant Jim Doty and Investigator Ryan Avis from the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office pick up the case.
They investigate and learn that Cari’s mother hasn’t seen her since November 11, 2012. Cari had texted her mother that she had gotten a job in Kansas and would be making $100,000 a year.
Cari’s mother couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t call home. Cari had not been seen physically for two years now.
Cari’s house tells a different story too. It’s as if she never left. Nothing suggests she packed up and moved to a different city.
Cari’s bank record says only two transactions happened after she went missing; nothing after that. The authorities doubt that Cari is even alive.
Meanwhile, Cari impersonates a woman and starts texting Dave again. This time, she also targets Dave’s ex-wife, Amy, and their children as well.
The true identity of the person texting Dave
The cops needed someone from the IT department. Special Deputy Tony Kava joins the case and investigates.
He dives deep into the texts that Dave has received and tracks down the IP addresses. Cari has used a VPN, but Tony is sure that they can narrow it down and find the real location.
Eventually, an IP address that has appeared a lot leads them to Todd Butterbaugh, who works under Tony Kava in the same office.
Todd is asked if someone else is using his Wi-Fi. He claims that he has an on-and-off live-in girlfriend, who turns out to be none other than Liz Golyar.
The cops pieced together digital evidence that suggests Liz has been impersonating Cari since Cari went missing.
Liz isn’t the victim; she is the stalker. The cops find a picture of Cari’s vehicle in Liz’s downloads. They also find Liz’s fingerprint on the car.
Liz continues to put on her show. She shoots herself after stealing Dave’s gun and attempting to incriminate Dave’s ex-wife, Amy.
The cops play along with her, hoping that Liz will fall for the trap, give them enough information about what happened to Cari, and help them build a case against Liz.
Liz creates text messages that seem to be sent to her by Amy. The truth is, she is writing to herself.
She shares a lot with the cops when she gets jealous of Amy because Dave moves in with his ex-wife.
A jealous Liz ends up pouring out details of Cari’s murder, giving the cops the evidence they have been looking for for years. The common theme was that Cari was stabbed in her own car.
Liz’s arrest and her fate
Through the details given by Liz, the cops finally find a stain inside Cari’s vehicle, which allows them to arrest Liz.
Liz keeps denying seeing Cari’s car, creating fake emails, and texting people impersonating Cari.
The cops also discover an SD card on Dave’s tablet from 2012. It seems to have been wiped clean.
Tony Kava digs deep and recovers deleted files. The SD card primarily has Liz’s selfies. They soon find what looks like Cari’s foot. It has a tattoo on it that matches Cari’s.
During the trial, this picture is called a trophy picture. Cari’s body hasn’t been recovered. Hence, the case can turn around anytime.
The court finds Liz guilty and sentences her to life imprisonment. The cops can’t give Cari’s mother and her son Cari back. What they were able to do was restore Cari’s reputation in their small community.
The case helped everyone get to know Cari, who was a good person and a great mother with goals.
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