Lover, Stalker, Killer (2024) | Transcript

In this twisting documentary, a mechanic tries online dating for the first time and meets a woman who takes romantic obsession to a deadly extreme.

Lover, Stalker, Killer is an American true crime documentary film. It was released on Netflix on February 9, 2024. This film examines how Nebraska auto mechanic Dave Kroupa’s 2012 foray into the dating world ended in murder.

Dave was recently out of a long-term relationship and eager to restart his romantic life, so he did what most people do: He tried online dating. Liz and Cari were two of his most promising connections, both single moms with winning personalities who helped bring him out of his shell in different ways. It should have been an opportunity for this hard-working, devoted dad to enjoy a second chance at casual romance, but it turned into a twisted love triangle, putting Dave and everyone he cared about at risk. Using interviews with those involved – including the law enforcement officers who cracked the case – alongside vivid reenactments that bring viewers into the tension and paranoia of Dave’s four year nightmare, this feature documentary from Curious Films (Running with the Devil) and director Sam Hobkinson (Fear City: New York vs The Mafia), deftly assembles the pieces of a mind-bending true tale of harassment, digital deception, and murder in America’s heartland.

* * *

[crow caws]

[water trickles]

[man 1] I don’t feel blameless in all of this.

[mysterious music plays]

A lot of bad things happened to good people…

[clicks mouse]

…all because of a series of events that I’m at the center of.


[woman 1 breathes anxiously]

[phone dialling]

[line rings]

[operator] 911, what’s the address of your emergency?

[woman 1 panting] I’ve been shot. Oh no!

Prosecutors allege a love triangle turned fatal.

Of all the cases I’ve ever prosecuted, this is the most bizarre and twisted.

[match strikes]

[anchor] The defense is arguing a murder might not have even happened.

[man 2] I was obsessed with this case, we all were.

But we knew it was gonna be an uphill battle.

We didn’t have a body, we didn’t have a weapon, we barely had a crime scene.

I mean, those are the things that every murder trial has.

[ominous music playing]

I thought I’d seen it all. I hadn’t seen anything like this.

[children playing]

[woman 2] I was terrified for my kids.

[man 3] The person we’re dealing with is scary.

Who knows what they’re capable of?

[eerie singing]

[door slams]

The one word that comes to mind is “monster.”

[spooky whistling]

[cheerful music plays]

[man 1] It must’ve been 2000.

I was workin’ as a mechanic at a truck stop.

One day, this blonde-haired, good-lookin’ woman started workin’ there.

[projector clicks]

He asked if he could take me out on a date, and it was kind of in a goofy way.

[projector clicks]

His dorkiness kind of did attract me.

[projector clicks]

I found myself falling in love with him very fast.

Before you know it, we had, ya know, everything but the white-picket fence.

[projector clicks]

So it was, ya know, the American dream.


Dave worked days, and I worked nights, and so we didn’t see a lot of each other, and I think that’s basically where we started growing apart.

[projector clicks]

[Dave] We just weren’t happy anymore together, and it was probably time to split.

[cheerful music continues]

[projector clicks]

[woman 2] I decided that I was ready to come home, and I was bringing the kids with me.

[Dave] There was no part of me that wasn’t gonna take care of my kids, so separated or not, we were gonna have to be in the same place.

That’s how I ended up movin’ to Omaha, Nebraska.

[train horn blows]

But I had no idea what the hell was waitin’ for me.

I was starting over as a single person.

It’s a little bit lonely in a new place where you don’t know anybody.

So I got a job in the automotive industry, turnin’ wrench, ’cause that’s what I do.

I got a little one-bedroom apartment, it was pretty nice.

[pleasant synth music plays]

I was wild and free at 35, and I was determined to enjoy it.

[knuckles crack]


[clicks mouse]

Plenty of Fish. That’s what everybody was usin’, apparently.

I was definitely not looking for something serious.

[clicks mouse]


[clicks mouse]

So I’m pretty excited at this point.

[rising tone]

[pleasant synth music stops]


Zero, zilch, nada.

Am I that bad that nobody wants to talk to me?

[birds chirp]

A few days after that…


…looked again, and…


[clicks mouse]

That’s when Liz came into my life.

[pleasant synth music resumes]

She seemed very cool, very down-to-earth.

[clicks mouse]

She had a cleaning company.

[clicks mouse]

She obviously loved animals.

She had two dogs, a cat…

[clicks mouse]

…and a big snake.

It turns out that we had a lot in common.

We both liked sci-fi action movies, heavy metal.

She liked motorcycles, I had a motorcycle. It was a match made in heaven.

[clicks mouse]

We both had a son and a daughter.

We were both lonely.

[pleasant synth music stops]

This was my first real date in years and years.

I was pretty nervous, but we really hit it off.

[indistinct chatter]

[“Funnel of Love” by Wanda Jackson plays]

♪ Here I go ♪

♪ Fallin’ down, down, down… ♪

[Dave] She was very smiley, energetic.

♪ My head is spinning around… ♪

Full of life.

♪ As I go deep into the funnel of love… ♪

We would go downtown and hit the bars.

♪ It’s such a crazy ♪

♪ Crazy feeling ♪

♪ I get weak in the knees ♪

♪ My poor old head is a-reelin’ ♪

♪ As I go deep into the funnel of love… ♪

Ya know, it’d been a long time for me, and I guess once I got the green flag,

I was in.

♪ I tried and I tried ♪

♪ To run and hide ♪

♪ I even tried to run away-yay-yay ♪

♪ You just can’t run From the funnel of love ♪

[camera shutter clicking]

♪ It’s bound to get you some day… ♪

[Dave] It was exactly the right mix.

Ya know, I still had my personal space, but there was someone around when I wanted to chat or hang out.

It was, I would say, just what I needed at that time in my life.

♪ It’s bound to get you some day ♪

[song ends]

As early as our first date, I had made it clear to Liz that I was absolutely not going to be tied down.

[mysterious music plays]

[vehicle approaches]

And then, one day…

Cari Farver came into my life.

My initial thought was, “Dang, she’s good-lookin’.”

[Cari] Hey! You look like a car mechanic.

[Dave] Like one, but…

We just smiled at each other.

[Cari] Are you busy, or can you take a look at my car?

[Dave] Yeah, sure. I can do that.

She was a customer, I was the manager, that was it.

[Cari] Every car is a little…

For all I knew, I’d never see her again.

[Cari] All right, thank you so much.

[mysterious music continues]


[Dave] A couple weeks later, I’m goin’ through the profiles on a dating site,

and I run across one I absolutely recognize.

[clicks mouse]

It was the girl from the shop, a couple weeks ago, Cari Farver.

And of course, I made contact.

[clicks mouse]

“Hey, I know you.”

[mysterious music continues]

She messaged me back and said, “I know you too,” and that was it.

Our first date was pretty good.

She told me a little bit about her life.

She had grown up locally in a small town.

She had had a child when she was quite young.

But had gone back to college to study.

She had a… a career job.

Computers were her thing.

Her spirit and her drive definitely marked her out differently from the rest of the women I had met.

She was smart and sexy, not in my league all the way around.

But I asked her if she wanted to come back to my place, and she said sure.

[dog barks]

We haven’t even taken our coats off…

[doorbell rings]

…and there’s somebody outside.

[intriguing music plays]

It’s Liz.

She’s like, “I need to get somethin’ outta your apartment.”

This is going to be very difficult.

I explain to Cari what’s goin’ on.

To have this conversation, yeah, it was a little fuckin’ awkward.

Cari and Liz made eye contact for all of three seconds, maybe.

[intriguing music fades]

After Liz left the apartment…

[intriguing music plays]

…I gave Cari a call and she said, “Look, I’m halfway home.”

“Why don’t you just come over to my place?”

She lived in Macedonia, which is a tiny town over the border, in Iowa.

When I get there, she says, “Look, we’re not boyfriend-girlfriend, we’re not monogamous, we’re not gettin’ married.”

“This is just fun.”

And I was like, “Oh my God. What the hell?”

Yes! I’m in.

[intriguing music ends]

[birds chirp]

Cari worked three blocks from my apartment, so we immediately started spending a ton of time together.

She stayed a lot of nights, but it wasn’t all sex.

We spent a fair amount of time just talkin’.

And of course, I was happy to have her there.

And then one mornin’, I got up at six to go to work.

I gave her a little kiss, I’m out the door.

I didn’t know at the time, but that day would change my life forever.

About ten, ten-thirty…

[phone chimes]

…I get a text from Cari.

[phone chirps]

[mysterious music plays]

And I’m thinkin’, “I’ve been seeing you for two weeks.”

“Yes, it’s been hot and heavy, it’s also been two weeks.”

[phone ticks]

[phone chirps]

I felt like I no sooner said “send,” and I’m getting a barrage of texts back.

[phone chimes, chirps]

[ominous music playing]

[phone chimes, buzzes]

[phone chimes, buzzes]

It was a total shock.

We were involved, but we weren’t tryin’ to get that involved.

At this point, I’m thinkin’, “No matter how well you hit it off with somebody, you don’t really know who they are.”

When I went home at lunch, there was no sign of Cari.

Her bags were gone, her toothbrush was gone, she was gone.

I felt kinda sad that it didn’t work out, but I tried to get on with my life like nothin’ happened.

I didn’t hear from Cari for a couple of days, and then outta the blue, I started receiving texts from her again.

[phone chimes, buzzes]

[phone chimes, buzzes]

The messages started slowly, but it ramped up.

[phone chimes, buzzes]

Meaner, ruder…

[phone chimes, buzzes]

…more threatening as time went on.

Why she would be harassing me, I… I just didn’t get it.

[mysterious music plays]

[woman 3] At that time, Cari was very much her own person.

She’d let you know her opinion.

I knew that she had met somebody.

It was a new relationship, and those are always, ya know, interesting at the beginning.

He lived just a couple blocks from where she was working, which helped, and she could stay there.

So I didn’t think too much about the fact that I didn’t talk to her.

But after a while, I still couldn’t get a hold of her.

Ya know, mothers and daughters always have their ups and downs, and we did, but it was just so puzzling when I couldn’t get through to her.

[Dave] So I’m at work, and my front counter guy comes back and says, “Dave, there’s sheriffs up front lookin’ for you.”

[menacing music plays]

How you doin’, guys?

What could I have possibly done that the sheriffs are lookin’ for me?

Ya know, I don’t know what’s goin’ on here, but it’s not funny.

The first thing they ask is, “Do you know Cari Farver?”

And of course, I did.

They told me Cari’s mother had filed a missing person’s report.

I’m on the hot seat now. Ya know, they’re lookin’ at me like, “Why don’t you know where she’s at? You’re her boyfriend.”

So I pulled my phone out and I showed ’em all these nasty messages I’d been gettin’ from her.

After that, their whole demeanor changed.

The sheriffs implied that, “Here’s a bad breakup,” something they see all the time.

It’s not a big deal, and it should stop pretty shortly.

Nobody stays around that long harassing people.

[Nancy] Shortly after we reported her missing, I started getting these messages from Cari on her Facebook page.


[eerie music plays]


[mouse clicks]

She texted me on Mother’s Day, and said, “Happy Mother’s Day”, but it got to the point where I was getting one-to two-word messages that just got steadily nastier and nastier.

[birds chirp]

[scraping sound]


I hadn’t seen Liz for quite a while, but then she comes to the apartment one day.

She says she’s, ya know, got somethin’ to show me.

[dog barks in distance]

I look at the side of her vehicle, and it’s very obviously been keyed deeply.

[disturbing music plays]

[phone buzzes]

[phone chirps, buzzes]

[phone chirps]

[phone chirps, buzzes]

It turns out that Liz is being harassed by Cari in the same ways as… as I was, by text and email.

Cari was clearly jealous of Liz.

[menacing music plays]

[phone chimes]

[phone chirps]

We were afraid that somethin’ bad could happen at any time.

[phone chimes, chirps]

[train horn blows distantly]

[man 3] I was an officer with the Omaha Police Department for 22 and a half years.

The last ten to 12 years of my career, I worked as a Special Victims Unit detective, specializing in domestic violence and stalking.

Dave Kroupa came to see me at the end of 2012.

The case was something we see often. It was very routine.

We were dealing with some kind of jealous ex-girlfriend, possibly at the initial phases of stalking.

[mouse clicks]

The implication, when you look through all the different text messages and emails, was, “If I can’t have you, nobody will.”

[mouse clicks]

But this turned out to be one of the strangest, most unpredictable cases I’d ever worked.

[traffic sounds]

[phone chimes, buzzes]

[lonely whistle plays]

[phone chimes, buzzes]

[chiming, buzzing continue]

[sounds distort]

The texts from Cari, for the first several days, came from her original phone, but after that, they changed.

It was multiple other phone numbers, 20, 30, 40.

You couldn’t block ’em fast enough.

[chiming, buzzing]

[sounds distort]

I can tell they were all Cari because the verbiage was all the same.

[distorted chiming, buzzing]

The same happened with the emails.

The emails were under all different kinds of aliases, or just random names, and upwards of 125 a day.

[disturbing music plays]

[distortion intensifies]

[mysterious music plays]

[phone chimes, buzzes]

Dave had made a report of Cari messaging him with particular details of customers he was talking to, standing right outside of his workplace.

[phone chimes, buzzes]

[phone chimes, buzzes]

[phone chimes, buzzes]

[phone chimes, buzzes]

[Chris] I thought, “Okay, if she could see what he was doing… she’s gotta be hiding around his place.”

So, I scan the area for every place where someone could see what he was doing.

I was doing a reverse stakeout to find out where she was watching from.

I took Cari’s picture, knocked doors.

Nobody had seen her.

I knew that before I could get anything done, I had to find her.

[mysterious music ends]

[phone chimes, buzzes]

[Dave] What happened next was a total shock.

[phone chirps]

[intriguing music plays]

Cari told me she was livin’ a couple buildings away from me, in the same apartment complex.

[phone chimes, buzzes]

[phone chirps]

[disturbing music plays]

[dog barks distantly]

[Dave] One, two, three…

I’m hopin’ that I catch her.

[wind chimes tinkle]

But the closer I get, five, six, seven, now I wanna call the cops.

I’m workin’ myself up into a frenzy.

I don’t wanna call the cops. Now, I wanna hurt her bad.

[police siren blares distantly]

And then I hit ten, and then I hit 11, and of course, I’m lookin’ for 12.

[disturbing music crescendoes]

And there’s no 12.

Doesn’t exist.

It’s just one more part of the mindfuck.

[eerie singing]

As I’m walkin’ back to my apartment, I’m lookin’ at all the apartments everywhere,

I’m wonderin’ which one she’s watchin’ me out of.

She did it purely to mess with my head.

But then, things only got worse.

[phone chimes, buzzes]

[mysterious music plays]

Oh fuck.

Cari’s inside Liz’s house.

[phone chimes, buzzes]

[phone chimes, buzzes]

I mean, seriously, how… What the hell?

[mysterious music continues]

This is definitely a big escalation.

[mysterious music crescendoes]

We find that not only has she keyed Liz’s car in the garage, but she’s spray-painted on the wall.

[projector clicks]

[projector clicks]

The cops were called and a police report was filed, but I can tell how much stress this is puttin’ on Liz and her kids.

I felt like Liz was being harassed because I dated this woman, who’s now makin’ her life hell too.

[phone chirps]

[phone chirps]

I felt like she was the real victim in all of this, and I wanted to try and protect her.

We felt safe together, and our relationship rekindled.

[mysterious music fades out]

[Amy] Dave and I were still pretty close.

The kids went to his house on the weekends,  so they knew some of what was going on with Cari and her threatening Dave.

[spooky whistling]

After he had told me of all the text messages and the vandalizing, I told him that I didn’t want the kids goin’ over to his house.

If he wanted to see them, he had to come to my house.

It made me very nervous.

[eerie music plays]

[glass shatters]

[Dave] I’m at work, and I get a call from Liz.

One of my windows is smashed out, and it looks like somebody’s been in my apartment.

[projector clicks]

Over the top of the bed in red lipstick, it was written, “Go away, whore.”

On the bed was some clothes that belonged to Liz.

They had been stabbed and slashed with a knife.

[projector clicks]

Like, murder style.

I don’t know how much more of a direct physical violent threat there could be.

[projector clicks]

[projector clicks]

In my mind, I’m thinkin’, “What if Liz was there when Cari broke in?”

Would Liz have actually gotten stabbed?

This is a real threat. This isn’t bullshit.

[phone buzzes, chimes]

[phone buzzes, chimes]

[eerie music ends]

[train horn blows distantly]

At this stage in the investigation, given all the things that happened, the crimes that had been committed, I had felt I had sufficient probable cause for an arrest warrant for Cari.

Unfortunately, this is all I can do right now, because I can’t find her.

[mysterious music plays]

In a stalking case, that’s not unusual.

But the longer you investigate these types of cases, the more you see the effect it has on your victims.

[Dave] The stalking had been goin’ on for over a year.

Ya know, it wasn’t uncommon for me to go to dinner with my kids and get a message, “You’re at so-and-so, eatin’ with your kids.”

Well, fuck you!

Leave me the fuck alone.

[dog barks distantly]

Slowly, your normal kinda devolves into abnormal.

[dog continues barking]

The paranoia is your life.

[distant police siren]

[phone chimes, buzzes]

[phone chirps]

[mysterious music plays]

[door creaks, closes]

You’re thinkin’ about all the what-ifs, all the time.


[slicing sound]

[phone chimes]

[phone chimes, buzzes]

[phone chimes]

[door slams]

[Dave] It was hard to know sometimes what was real and what I might be imagining.

[dog barks distantly]

[mysterious music continues]

As the months went on, I ended up spending more and more time at the bar.

I had a drink, but you know, it took the edge off.

My brain could just shut the fuck up for a little bit.

[threatening music plays]

I was on a road to havin’ a mental breakdown.

[match strikes]

[intense, suspenseful music plays]

[phone chimes, buzzes]

[tense music playing]

[phone chirps]

My stomach just drops. I’m like, “Oh shit.”

[intense, suspenseful music continues]

Cari has set Liz’s fuckin’ house on fire.

[phone chimes, buzzes]

[dramatic music plays]

[fireman 1] Try and give ’em… They moved everybody outta here.

[fireman 2] That way, move that way. Come on. Move, that way.

[Dave] Liz was by herself, just cryin’.

Fortunately, Liz’s kids weren’t in the house, but all of her pets died.

She’s lost her residence and everything she owns.

I’m thinking, “This is now a complete different investigation.”

I contacted the fire investigator.

We met at the scene, walked through the house.

[projector clicks]

[projector clicks]

[projector clicks]

There was still water, there… the horrible smell of a fire.

[projector clicks]

[projector clicks]

The red flags are just going up all around me.

[projector clicks]

And I’m thinking, “This could get to the point where someone gets seriously injured, murdered.”

And in the back of my head, I’m thinking, “I’ve got to catch this person!”

Our investigation at the scene included, of course, speaking to Liz.

The interview was recorded on tape.

I understand there’s been some problems going on.

Why don’t you tell me about that?

[Liz] Uh…

The guy that I’m seeing, he has a girlfriend he dated for two weeks,

and she’s been stalking me since November.

[Chris] Do you know her name?

[Liz] It’s Cari.

She kept texting me telling me she wanted to kill me and my kids.

[Chris] Okay. It’s pretty obvious this is an intentionally-set fire.

[Liz] What about my, uh, animals?

[Chris] The animals are…

[Liz] I know that they’re all dead, but…

[Chris] The Humane Society is going to take care of the animals. Sorry.

[Liz] I just wish she would go away.

[sad music plays]

[indistinct chatter]

After the fire, Liz took what little she could scavenge from the house, and moved.

She didn’t tell me where, and I didn’t blame her one bit.

She did not want Cari to come along after her.

At that point, I felt alone.

I didn’t know whether to be mad, or sad, or cry.

I had lost my partner,

or the one person who understood what I was goin’ through.

I felt like the only thing I could do was also pack up and move.

I changed phones, and got a new job.

I wanted to rebuild my life away from Cari.

But in the back of my mind, I knew that she was still out there.

[sad music crescendoes]

[train horn blows distantly]

[man 4] Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office is a small agency.

So two years earlier, I had heard that there’s another couple detectives lookin’ into somebody named Cari Farver as a missing person.

I’d heard that she was a single mom that kinda just vanished.

Nobody had physically seen her, but she was still communicating via emails and text messages.

At the same time, detectives from Omaha Police Department had been investigating arson, and harassment, and vandalism, but after a long time, the case had kinda gone cold for the investigators who were lookin’ into it.

[upbeat fiddle music plays]

The case had always perked my interest, like, it had always intrigued me.

I remember talkin’ to Jim, saying, ya know, “We should ask if we can take the case.”

[Jim] Me and Ryan, we’re best friends.

That was a good shot there, Ryan.

[Ryan] Jim’s the most metro cowboy I’ve ever met.

I don’t think he’s ever ridden a horse, but he pulls off the look.

[Jim] Ryan is more of a shoot-from-the-hip kinda guy.

[Ryan] Never mind.

[Ryan and Jim laugh]

[Jim] I’m a little bit more organized.

Our skills and abilities really complement each other.

And so Avis and I went to our… our boss, and asked if we could take over in the Cari Farver case, and he gave us the go-ahead.

[dramatic music plays]

We went to visit Nancy Raney, who’s Cari’s mother.

She lived out in Macedonia, Iowa.

And she told us how this whole case got started.

[Nancy] It’d been several years since we’d talked to an investigator face-to-face, and, uh, I was skeptical.

I probably was a little short with him… [inhales]…when he came in, because I didn’t have much faith in him.

[Jim] Now, what day was the last time you guys saw her?

[Nancy] We haven’t seen her since the 11th of November 2012.

[Jim] So, couple years ago.

[Nancy] Shortly after she left, I started getting messages, saying, “I’ve taken a job in Kansas and I’m going to be making $100,000 a year.”

And Max, her son, had to stay with us.

[Jim] I’m curious about how she was before she left.

What was goin’ on, if she mentioned anything?

[Nancy] She was tired because she’d been working a lot.

[Jim] Mm-hmm.

Granted, there’s probably some things she didn’t tell me… [chuckling]…but I have some things that I didn’t tell my mother.

But, she’d always call home.

I couldn’t make sense of it, and that’s when we reported her missing.

If she’s just decided she doesn’t want to be around here anymore, that’s her decision, but I’d like to know if she’s okay, if she’s sick, if she’s hurt.

[mysterious music plays]

When I first got involved in the case, it was because it sounded interesting.

Once I met Nancy… it turned for me, I wanted to get her answers.

Lookin’ through the case file, the original reports noted that Cari had a history of bipolar disorder.

[Nancy] Yeah, she had depression problems.

I presumed she would’ve taken medication with her, but she hadn’t.

[Ryan] If Cari wasn’t taking her medication, it might suggest her change in personality, to start the harassment, the messaging, the stalking, all of that.

[Jim] The original investigators came to the conclusion that her vanishing was a symptom of a mental-health crisis.

[Nancy] I had hope that she’d be back.

[thunder rumbles]

[Dave] I had moved and was just tryin’ to start over.

Liz is outta the picture.

So, of course, I wanna try to date again.


[hopeful music plays]

[clicks mouse]

I hop back online onto another dating site.

[clicks mouse]

Made some profiles, start talkin’ to people.

[clicks mouse]

End up talking to a particular woman.

[clicks mouse]

Things are goin’ well, we’re chatting, set up a date.

[thunder rumbles]

[hopeful music ends]

I’ve been there an hour.

Waiter comes over and says, “Bein’ stood up?” Or whatever.

And I was like, “Ah, looks like it.”

[phone chimes, buzzes]

[phone chirps]

So I sit there for a little while longer.

And sit there… and sit there… and sit there.

And about the time I decide she’s not comin’, she sends another message.

[dramatic sting plays]

[phone ticks]

[phone chirps]

I had fucked up and let Cari back into my life.

[police siren blares distantly]

[dramatic music plays]

But this time, it started to get so much worse.

All of a sudden, Amy, my ex, became a target.

[eerie singing]

[phone buzzes, chimes]

[Amy] I started getting messages from Cari, telling me I needed to stay away from Dave.

[phone chimes, buzzes]

[phone chirps]

I was terrified.

[spooky whistling]

[eerie singing]

But then, the text messages started involving my children.

[birds chirp]

[children playing]

One weekend, me and the kids went to the park to play for a while.

[phone chimes, buzzes]

[typing on phone]

[phone chimes, buzzes]

[Amy] She knew exactly what we were doing.

[spooky whistling]

[eerie singing]

I was thinking, “Is this lady following me all the time?”

[eerie singing]

One night, I got a text message from Cari, saying she was going to… slit my kids’ throats in their sleep.

I found my son sleeping on the couch with a baseball bat.

I woke him up to tell him to go into his own room, and when I asked him why he was sleeping on the couch, he said that he was going to protect us.

It was heartbreaking.

No kid should have to feel that way.

[spooky whistling]

[man] I’m lookin’ for a… a handgun.

Are you lookin’ for somethin’ that is a target…

[Dave] I did feel that it was only a matter of time till somebody gets hurt for real.

There was a need to protect my family.

So, my father got me a pistol.

It was a Smith & Wesson, nine-millimeter automatic.

[clerk] Come out back, we’ll get you taken care of.

[Dave] I’m not a gunslinger. It’s not gonna hang off my hip.

So it was up in the top of the closet in the bedroom,

well outta reach of my children, but I could reach up there

and grab the pistol if I felt like I needed to.

I didn’t want to have to use it.

[Jim] There’s a lot of mystery in this case.

But the biggest thing that stuck out to us

is that Cari had not physically been seen or heard from for two years at this point.

[dramatic music plays]

[Ryan] The emails and the messages and the social media alone

were not proof that Cari Farver was alive.

[Jim] In those messages, Cari said she was quittin’ her job,

movin’ to Kansas, and just needed some space.

But when we looked at the original investigators’ photographs of Cari’s home,

we found that her closet was still full of clothes.

All of her belongings were still in that house.

It was just like she was coming back tomorrow.

She was coming back this afternoon.

Nothing was changed.

[Ryan] The bed was made, the coat was still hanging on a chair.

Nothing there suggested she had packed up and moved to a different city.

We got Cari’s bank records,

and what we saw then were two transactions

that happened just a couple days after she went missing,

and after that, there’s nothing.

And of course, it’s hard to exist without money.

[birds chirp]

Right at the time she went missing, Cari’s father was dying.

[dramatic music plays]

In my mind, she would never have left, because her dad was so sick.

Two weeks, three weeks after he passed, I had this very vivid dream about him.

And in that dream, he’d said,

“Nance, she’s with me, it’s okay.”

[dark music plays]

I can still see his face.

But I had to be there for Max,

to give him a stable life.

He was only 14.

I don’t know if it’s a mother’s thing or what, but I just knew.

Cari’s not with us anymore.

[dramatic music plays]

When Jim came out to talk to us a… again,

I said, “I don’t think she left on her own.”

And… he looked at me and said,

“I don’t think she left, either, on her own.”

And I hugged him, and I cried,

because nobody with authority had ever told me that.

[Jim] If Cari wasn’t alive, this case takes a big turn.

[mysterious music plays]

It was all just theories and speculation,

but we continued the case,

lookin’ at it through the lens of a death investigation.

We knew Dave and Liz had been gettin’ these harassing emails

and text messages from Cari for years now.

But if Cari was dead, clearly she hadn’t sent the messages.

So in order to figure out what happened to Cari,

we needed to figure out who was sending these messages.

We needed an IT guy.

[man 2] Just a second.

[whimsical music plays]

I’ve got Soylent,

which has caffeine in it,

and I’ve got coffee, which has caffeine in it,

and then I’ve got the remnants of my last coffee,

which has caffeine in it. Ah…

Tony Kava worked for our IT department,

and he was also a volunteer for our sheriff’s office as a deputy.


[producer] What’s Soylent?

It’s, um… It’s what nerds drink instead of eating.

For the most part, I just drink two or three of these a day,

and then eat some hummus.

[Ryan] As a reserve deputy,

Tony was paid a dollar a year to help with digital forensics investigations.

I don’t know if it’s clear, but I’m also, uh, apparently on the, uh, spectrum.


That does, uh, make sense when you see

that I eat and drink the same thing every day.

I think it actually helps with the investigations and all that.

In the Cari Farver case, there were hundreds of thousands of email messages,

hundreds of thousands of text messages.

Over two years of digital evidence.

If we could figure out where the messages were coming from,

we may be able to find out what happened to Cari.

Every computer on the Internet has an IP address.

[clicks mouse]

It stands for Internet Protocol.

It’s like, uh, the address on your house, except for your computer.

And so if we can find an IP address for an email,

or that was used to send a text message,

we can use that to try to trace that back to an actual location.

But it seemed like whoever was sending these messages

was using a lot of different services to hide their real IP address.

VPNs, proxies, sometimes even the Wi-Fi at McDonald’s.

I was just certain that there’s going to be an IP address in there somewhere

that would be key in trying to solve this.

The solution was to write the program that I needed.

[intriguing music plays]

I called it Dex.

Once I have Dex available, I start asking it questions.

I was tryin’ to find a pattern, um, in the chaos of all this information.

We had millions of IP addresses.

I asked it, “How many of those are unique?”

That narrowed it down to 13,000.

Then I asked the follow-on question,

“Show me the top ten IP addresses we’ve seen everywhere in this case.”

Out of the top ten IP addresses seen everywhere in this case,

eight of them are VPN services.

We won’t be able to do much with that.

But the very top one, the one that we see the most,

that IP address was

The IP address was connected to a house in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

It was the home of a man named Todd Butterbaugh.

This was a huge shock because…

[clicks mouse]

…Todd works at Pottawattamie County,

and, uh… I’m his boss.

[disturbing music plays]

Obviously, this was an awkward situation.

[rapidly typing]

[typing continues]

The first step was to hide where our case file was,

’cause as an IT person, he would have access to all these files.

At that point, we had to present him with a search warrant to search his house.

[Ryan] We were suspicious of Todd.

He’s an IT computer guy,

and this case is hugely digital.

But we also asked if anyone else had been living there with him,

using his Wi-Fi.

He told us that he had an on-again, off-again girlfriend.

That girlfriend had been livin’ at Todd’s ever since her house was burned down.

[menacing music plays]

Todd’s on-again, off-again, live-in girlfriend

was called Liz Golyar.

[mysterious music plays]

[Ryan] I was floored.

The case took a 180-turn, just like that.

Todd had told us that Liz Golyar had been using his Wi-Fi for years.

[Tony types]

[Tony] We piece together the digital evidence

in all of the, uh, email accounts and everything else,

it… it’s clear that all roads lead to Liz.

Everything suggested Liz had been impersonating Cari

from the moment Cari went missing.

Every message that was sent to Dave, to Liz, to Nancy, to Max,

came from Liz herself.

We believed that Liz was the victim.

It’s not true.

In fact, Liz is the stalker.

[spooky whistling]

[mysterious music plays]

[Dave] The sheriffs came and told me Liz was the one behind all of it.

My brain was spinning.

I went to the back of the shop where my toolbox was,

and I just leaned on it and cried.

[“Funnel of Love” echoes]

♪ We go round and round ♪

♪ Deep into the funnel of love… ♪

[mysterious music plays]

I’m tryin’ to go through the pieces of the puzzle

and put ’em together.

♪ Round and round… ♪

[mysterious music plays]

Cari was never the one outside my house messaging me.

Cari wasn’t the one that keyed my car,

or burned down Liz’s house,

or smashed my fucking windows.

[“Funnel of Love” echoes]

♪ It’s gonna get you some day ♪

[mysterious music plays]

It was Liz stalking me this whole time.

I mean, it was such a mindfuck.

It didn’t take me long,

checkin’ the boxes in my head,

to come to the conclusion that Cari was probably dead,

and that’s tough to swallow.

[sad piano music plays]

That’s beyond tough.

At this point, we believe Liz was responsible

for whatever happened to Cari,

but we could only prove that Liz was posing as Cari.

That’s about it.

We couldn’t tell you what happened to Cari,

we couldn’t tell you that Liz was involved,

and so we couldn’t just arrest Liz.

But she became our primary suspect on what happened to Cari.

So now we needed to look back

through all the evidence that’d been collected

in a whole different light.

[mysterious music plays]

The original investigators had believed Liz was the victim…

[clicks mouse]

…and so they downloaded her phone

just a month and a half after Cari went missing.

[clicks mouse]

[scrolls mouse]

When looking through Liz’s phone downloads…

[clicks mouse]

…I found somethin’ that was missed by the original investigators.

[scrolls mouse]

[clicks mouse]

There was a picture of Cari’s vehicle,

taken on Christmas Eve of 2012.

[scrolls mouse]

[Ryan] Looking at the case file,

we see the car was not recovered by police until January 8th.

This photo suggests that Liz knew where the car was the whole time.

That fact revealed a totally new aspect of our investigation.

[Jim] When a vehicle was recovered in January of 2013,

it was then processed.

When I’m lookin’ through that report, I found that a fingerprint was discovered.

[clicks mouse]

The fingerprint was inside the vehicle,

on a mint container that was on the center console.

We had that fingerprint directly compared to Liz’s known fingerprints.

It’s a match. That’s Liz’s print on the mint container.

[intense music plays]

[Ryan] This was solid evidence that shows Liz was in Cari’s car

prior to January 8th when we recovered that vehicle in 2013.

[Jim] It was a huge break for us,

but at the same time, it… it doesn’t answer any questions

of what happened to Cari, or where Cari’s even at.

[intriguing music fades out]

At this point, the stakes were high,

because we just didn’t know what Liz was capable of.

[dramatic music plays]

[Ryan] As we were looking for more evidence,

we decided to put in a tracker on Liz’s vehicle.

[intriguing music plays]

We were monitoring her GPS location at all times.

[Jim] We find out that she’s driving and circling around Amy’s house

on a daily basis.

So at this point, we’re becoming very concerned about Amy’s safety.

[eerie music plays]

[Dave] I’d been visiting my kids on a Sunday night.

I get back home, it’s probably 8:30, nine o’clock.

I go into my bedroom to change.

As soon as I open my closet door, I notice my gun had been moved.

The gun’s gone.

It is not there.

My stomach drops. I’m like, “Oh fuck.”

[line rings]


[Liz breathes anxiously]

[phone dialling]

[line rings]

[Liz pants]

[operator] 911, what’s the address of your emergency?

[Liz] I’ve been shot.

[operator] Okay, where are you at?

[Liz] I’m at, uh, the park by the sheriff’s department.

[pants, weeps]

[Tony] The night of December 5th, 2015,

I was out directing traffic, uh, at a nativity scene.

As I’m doing that, I heard a radio call,

um, said that there had been a shooting in Big Lake Park.

[intriguing music plays]

[operator] Okay. Is there any serious bleeding?

[Liz] Um, my… my feet and leg are soaked with blood.

[operator] Okay. Is the assailant still nearby?

[Liz] I don’t think so. They took off running.

[police siren blares]

[Ryan] Woman shot at Big Lake Park.

When I heard that, my heart immediately just dropped to my stomach.

I mean… [slaps table] Like that.

I was convinced Dave’s ex-wife Amy Flora had just been shot at Big Lake Park.

[Liz cries]

[operator] Do you know who did it?

[Liz gasps] No.

[Liz whimpers]

[operator] Do you know if it was a male or a female?

[Liz] A female.

[Liz weeps]

Later on, there’s a news report

that says, uh, there’s a woman shot and her name is Liz Golyar.

[projector clicks]

[disturbing music plays]

[projector clicks]

The question that’s running through our heads is…

[projector clicks]

…”Who would want to shoot Liz?”

[projector clicks]

[dramatic music plays]

[anchor 1] Shock and concern tonight surrounding a shooting in a local park.

[anchor 2] So far, police can’t find the woman

who shot another woman in the leg.

The circumstances appear strange.

[Amy] All I heard was, “Open up, police.”

I opened the door,

and there were two officers with guns drawn.

I was freaked out.

I felt like, “What is gonna happen to my kids?”

“I’m goin’ to jail.”

[Jim] Once she had recovered from the shooting,

we invited Liz to the sheriff’s office for an interview.

[door opens]

I’m Investigator Doty, I work here for the Sheriff’s Office, okay?

I’m aware of that whole deal that happened right over there in Big Lake.

[Liz] Okay.

Uh, I’ve read the initial police report.

And it ID’d Amy as the prime suspect. Okay?

I mean, I wouldn’t put it past her.

[Jim] Mm-hmm.

[Jim] In truth, I did not suspect Amy of shootin’ Liz.

It sounded crazy, but we suspected Liz did this herself.

[mysterious music plays]

We believe that Liz stole the gun outta Dave’s apartment,

and then Liz used that gun to shoot herself.


[Liz pants] I’ve been shot in the leg.

[Jim] It seemed like she was tryin’ to set up Amy,

not only for the shooting, but also for Cari’s murder.

I know that there’s been some hostility between you and Amy.

And it’s the same hostility that she has towards, uh, Cari too.

Yeah, has she ever…

She’s out flat told Dave that.

She’s told me that.

What’s the hostility she’s had towards Cari?

That she wants to beat the crap out of her, like, all the time.

We knew the game Liz was playing, and we’d play along with her theory.

In my head, I’m thinkin’,

if she was bold enough to go and then shoot you,

okay, she could easily be bold enough to have done somethin’ to Cari.

We were hoping she was gonna help us out any way she could,

if she thought we were gonna lock up Amy.

So we used that to try to turn the tables on Liz,

and deploy a bit of a ruse on her.

If you would kinda go back through the…

if you have any type of history of contacts with Amy,

and just make sure there’s nothin’ where she said somethin’ more threatening

than, “Hey, I wanna beat up Cari.”

If she made anything… Real threatening statements,

or inferred that she ever did anything to Cari,

’cause that’s like gold to me if we had somethin’ like that.

Because then we could start buildin’ a case.

Hopefully Liz would write to herself posing as Amy,

and hopefully we’d get enough details

that we’d be able to build that case against Liz.

[eerie singing]

[Ryan] Liz thought she was smarter than us,

but she was playing checkers, we were playing chess.


[mouse clicks]

[Jim] A couple days after the interview with Liz,

she started forwarding us some messages from Amy.

Confessing, “I shot you at Big Lake Park because you wouldn’t stay away from Dave.”

We knew this was Liz writing to herself

usin’ Amy’s name.

It was a good start,

but I knew we were gonna need more details from Liz

of what actually happened to Cari.

[tense music plays]

[Dave] I know the police couldn’t just go and arrest Liz,

’cause they just didn’t have the evidence to convict her.

But myself and the kids and Amy, I mean, we’re under threat.

Not knowing what, if anything, may come, or what kinda craziness might happen.

[dramatic music plays]

If she could shoot herself, what else is she capable of?

I was terrified at that point.

[Ryan] There was concern about Amy and her children,

so I developed a plan.

[phone rings]

[ringing continues]

[phone beeps]

I got in touch with Dave, and recorded the conversation.

Just speaking father to father, man to man,

I would do whatever I could to be around my kids as much as possible.

I’d be damn near moved in with Amy if I were you.

[Dave] Okay.

[Ryan] If I had to get back with my ex and move in with her,

so be it, as long as I know my kids are safe.

[Dave] Okay. I’ll take your advice.

Did my plan have an ulterior motive to it?


We knew that as soon as Liz found out

that Dave was moving in with Amy,

we were gonna start seein’ some real raw emotion coming from her.

[eerie singing]

[phone rings]

[ringing continues]

This is Investigator Doty.

[Liz] Yeah.

[Jim] Who am I speakin’ to here?


[Jim] Liz, what… what’s goin’ on?

[Liz] She’s still not arrested.

She gets to shoot somebody,

and then she gets to kill another person, and then she gets to move in with Dave,

and she gets to be free, and you guys aren’t arresting her.

[Jim] There’s only so much I can do if Amy’s not talkin’ to us.

You still there?

[Liz] Yeah. Uh-uh.

[Jim] If she does let you know some more specifics,

that’s the kinda stuff that makes a case.

[Liz] Okay.

[Jim] All right. Bye.

[line clicks]

[Ryan] That phone call with Jim was the tipping point.

The plan was actually working.

[mysterious music plays]

[Jim] That night, there was a huge break for us.

[clicks mouse]

Liz starts forwardin’ us more messages from Amy.

But this time, details about Cari’s murder begin pouring in.

[computer chimes]

[clicks mouse]

The emails seemed like a descriptor from the killer of what happened.

[clicks mouse]

[clicks mouse]

We knew this wasn’t Amy.

We knew this was Liz writing to herself, posing as Amy.

The emails described how she’d parked in an abandoned lot,

and covered Cari with a tarp and burned her.

As detectives, there’s some excitement,

because maybe we’re gettin’ the evidence we’ve been looking for for years.

[clicks mouse]

But at the same time,

what they’re describing is such a horrible thing.

[clicks mouse]

These confessional emails,

if true, were a huge break to us, ’cause up to this point,

we had no idea what happened to Cari.

We believed Liz was involved, but we had no idea what she had done.

[clicks mouse]

[Ryan] Reading all these emails,

the common theme was there was a stabbing that occurred in Cari’s car.

[scrolls mouse]

And that led us back to the vehicle again,

but this time, we were looking for traces of blood.

[hopeful music plays]

[aerosol sprays]

[Jim] We processed the vehicle with the blood reagent.

[Ryan] We just sprayed everywhere we could think of.

This chemical, when it hits blood, will glow under a black light.

The black light was taken over the front seat, the passenger seat,

throughout the back seats,

the back hatch area.

And we saw nothing.

There were no traces of blood.

But it was Cari’s vehicle.

There’s a good chance maybe she was driving when she was stabbed.

[machine whirs]

So I pulled the fabric off the driver’s seat,

and there’s nothin’ under there. It was just normal foam.

Then I moved to the passenger seat, I pulled the fabric off of that.

[shutter clicks]

[dramatic sting]

[shutter clicks]

On the bottom of that seat was a big red stain.

[shutter clicks]

[sinister sting]

I think, “We found our crime scene.”

[police siren blares]

[Ryan] Who you goin’ with? Ambrose?

[Jim] Yeah, I’m gonna ride with him.

[mysterious music plays]

[Dave] Investigator Avis called me,

said, “We just wanted to let you know she’s been arrested.”

In that moment, it did feel like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.

But not all of it.

You can’t wind up slowly over four years and then just turn it off.

That’s not the way it works.

[spooky whistling]

[crickets chirp]

Now, the reason why you’re in this chair right now today,

is because you have a lot of questions that you need to answer for me.

Did you ever see Cari’s car?

You ever seen it?


A picture of her car with her plates, her Explorer,

was on your phone.

I’ve never seen her car. Ever.

You’ve been in her car.

You drove her car.

No, I didn’t.

I’ve never been inside her car.

I’ve never even been around her car.


Your fingerprints are in there.

No, I haven’t.

I’m not lying. I’ve never been around her car.

I’ve never even seen it.

This is where I… I want you to think hard, okay,

about… what direction you’re gonna go in here.

Are you gonna sit in this chair and be remorseful or be cold-blooded?

Because right now, after four years,

this… this family’s been lookin’ for answers.

For years and years,

people have been, um, sending emails under Cari’s fictitious accounts.

The IP addresses show up to whose house?

Your house.

Why would you create all these emails?

I haven’t created any emails.

They’re coming from you.

No, they’re not.

I’m not gonna be accused of something that I didn’t do.

The finger’s pointin’ right at you.

Then I’m done talking, and I’m gonna have my attorney.

[menacing music plays]

Just into our newsroom tonight, word of an arrest.

[anchor] Golyar charged with first-degree murder,

and is being held at the Pottawattamie County Jail.

Once Liz was arrested, that doesn’t mean the investigation was over.

This trial was gonna be tough.

We needed brilliant prosecutors workin’ the case with us.

[woman 4] Looking from the outside,

this case truly came across as far-fetched.

I’m wondering to myself,

how am I gonna get a court to believe that this is true?

This was somebody keying their own car, stabbing their own clothes.

This person had even burned their own home.

I mean, who’s gonna shoot themselves in the leg, for cryin’ out loud?

But my biggest concern, honestly,

was “How do you prove a murder without a body?”

We needed to prove that, A, Cari’s dead,

and, B, Liz killed her.

[dramatic music plays]

It was all-consuming work, day and night,

in search of some kind of smoking gun to prove Cari was dead.

[Tony] Avis and I were leaving no stone unturned.

Anything that could potentially help us with this case, we wanted.

[Ryan] It was exhausting.

Twelve, sometimes 14, 16 hours a day,

going through the same old phone dumps that we had reviewed a thousand times,

making sure we didn’t miss something.

[clicks mouse]

All those emails, all the email accounts, make sure we didn’t miss another one.

It took a toll on my life.


[clicks mouse]

My marriage was failing.

I knew that I wasn’t bein’ a good dad at the time, which broke my heart.

[Tony] A year or so before I started workin’ on this case,

I’d been diagnosed with having a brain tumor.

At this point in the case, as it was really starting to… to heat up,

the tumor got bigger, and that meant surgery.

[clicks mouse]

And so I asked the question,

“Is it gonna impair my ability to do work?”

And the answer that I got was yes.

So I said right away, “I’m not doin’ the surgery, not till this case is done.”

[Ryan] We were both 100% dedicated,

just hoping to find whatever that missing piece was.

[Tony] We were going back to everyone,

asking them, “Is there anything else that you haven’t told us?”

[tense music plays]

We interviewed Dave for what had to have been, you know,

the 13th, 14th, umpteenth time.

[Dave] They turn around to leave, but they kinda stop.

Then Kava turned around and said, just really offhandedly,

“Just one more thing. Do you have any electronics

from around November, December 2012 that we could take a look at?”

“Anything you haven’t given us?”

[Dave] I went to my storage unit and did a little diggin’ around.

[newspaper crinkles]

And I found this old tablet,

and it was buried, and it was dusty, and it was dead as a doornail.

[hopeful music plays]

There’s nothing interesting about it, but it does have a memory card.

It has this micro SD card inserted into it.

When I examine that micro SD card…

[clicks mouse]

…it didn’t show any files at all.

Nothing’s on it. Like, it’s been wiped clean.

[dramatic music plays]

[Tony] But we can look deeper,

and we can look for deleted information, and so that’s what I did.

And then all of a sudden…

[hits key]

[scrolls mouse]

…I found about 11,000 thumbnail-size photographs on there.

As I started to look through these images, I see that there are a lot of selfies

of Liz in here.

[Ryan] A selfie of Liz.

[clicks mouse]

Another selfie of Liz.

Another one.

[clicks mouse]

[clicks mouse]

My heart rate starts to go up.

[clicks mouse]

[scrolls mouse]

From the dates on these photos,

we’re realizing this is the SD card from Liz’s phone,

back when Cari went missing.

This is huge.

[hopeful music plays]

[moves mouse]

[Tony] I started to look through the thousands of photographs.

[double clicks mouse]

[clicks mouse]

Is there any information here from 2012

that would help us with this case?

[clicks mouse]

[scrolls mouse]

[scrolls mouse]

Among the thousands of photos,

there was one that caught my eye.

[scrolls mouse]

[mysterious music plays]

[scrolls mouse]

I thought it was a piece of rosewood.

I didn’t think it would have any bearing on this case,

but it w… I was curious, because it… it… it looked different.

[scrolls mouse]

When I took a look at it from a couple different angles,

I thought, “This looks like a foot.”

[scrolls mouse]

You know, I’m not a pathologist. I do have a copy of Gray’s Anatomy,

so I… I went to the bookshelf.

And there is a drawing right there that shows

that this is where the veins are in the foot.

And there is a… Something that happens postmortem

called venous marbling, where, uh, these veins become visible.

And I thought, you know, all of a sudden,

we’re seeing a picture of a dead body.

This might be Cari’s foot.

[dials number]

[line rings]

It was Presidents’ Day weekend when I got a phone call.

[mouse scrolls]

You really had to squint to see.

But there was hope that we now had more evidence going into the trial.

[scrolls mouse]

We also felt that we had a way of proving

that it was Cari’s foot, because it had a tattoo on it.

[mouse scrolls]

We got a hold of Nancy,

and we had to ask, “Did Cari have this tattoo?”

[sad piano music plays]

And the answer was yes.

Cari had the tattoo on her foot.

It was the Chinese symbol for “mother.”

New tonight in Omaha, woman on trial for murder.

Prosecutors allege a love triangle turned fatal,

but the defense is arguing a murder might not have even happened.

[Brenda] The first day of court, I went in a little nervous.

[disturbing music plays]

This was never going to be the slam-dunk case,

because we had to prove not only was Cari dead,

but the way she was killed,

the manner, the premeditation.

Those were gonna be some big challenges.

[elevator dings]

This is a bizarre and twisted case of a fatal attraction.

I really didn’t know what happened to Cari until the trial.

[Brenda] There isn’t any question, Your Honor, that Cari’s dead,

and the evidence shows she was killed in Omaha.

I wish it wasn’t the case for this family.

Having to hear that Cari had been stabbed, for one thing, just… Uh…

Uh… It’s your… your child, you just don’t…

It’s not something that you ever…


Guess it’s a nightmare.

[Brenda] These are trophy pictures.

They memorialize the heinous acts

as if it were some kind of an accomplishment.

Of course, they tried to warn me what was coming,

but I don’t think you can warn anybody… [inhales]

…when you’ve found out you… your daughter’s been mutilated,


thrown away.

Not one person on this Earth has seen or heard from her

since November 13th, 2012.

That just tears me apart.

[elevator dings]

[dramatic music plays]

[Brenda] The worst time is waiting for the verdict.

You don’t get much sleep.

You go over the evidence. Did you do everything you could?

I remember walking into the courtroom. It was… tense.

There was media and family.

We waited for the judge to take the bench.

Part of me wanted to believe

that it was a foregone conclusion that she was guilty,

but we were all worried that there was every possibility

she could walk outta there.

[Jim] The stakes were high.

If Liz is found not guilty, Cari’s name isn’t cleared.

There will always be a shadow over Nancy and Max,

and the entire family.

[Ryan] I stood up. I remember, like,

my hands were just shaking ’cause I was that nervous.

[inhales deeply] The court finds,

after careful consideration of the evidence,

the contention by the defense

that the state has not met its burden

because the body of Cari Farver has not been recovered… [echoes]

My stomach dropped, everything in me just dropped.

The things he’s saying

sound like it’s gonna be a not-guilty verdict.

[judge]…has been overcome by the overwhelming amount of evidence

presented by the state during this trial.

But then, the way he was speaking changed.

Cari Farver did not voluntarily disappear

and drop off the face of the Earth.

Very sadly, she was murdered.

The court finds beyond a reasonable doubt

that the defendant intentionally killed Cari Farver

with deliberate and premeditated malice

on or about November 13th, 2012,

here in Douglas County, Nebraska.

[sad piano music plays]

[Jim] There was crying, and hugs with all the family members.

For Nancy and Max, I felt a lot of sadness for them

because they had lost their daughter, their mother,

and we could never give that back.

The little bit we could give back was

restoring Cari’s reputation in that small community.

People had the assumption Cari was goin’ crazy,

and that’s obviously very hurtful.

That cuts pretty deep on the… on the family.

We got really close to Nancy and Max throughout this whole thing.

Push, push, push, push…

[Jim] We really got to know who Cari was too.

Oh my gracious.

[girl] Go, go, Mom.

Okay, come on, let’s go. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go.

Hold on. I gotta get the cookie. See the cookie?

[Jim] We grew to see that she was a great mother.

Look what got into it.

[Jim] That she was a good person.

Oh man!

Oh! He took the…

[man] He did, though.

Oh, okay.

Oh my goodness.

You have to… Just turn him off, you…

[Dave] The woman that I’d dated had goals,

and… was smiley, and wanted to be somethin’.

She was just tryin’ to make her way in this world.

[sad piano music continues]

I’m very sorry for what happened.

If I hadn’t have met Cari,

she wouldn’t have met Liz, and this all wouldn’t have happened.

If I’d have known the choice was this craziness

or tell Cari I’m not interested, I would’ve told Cari I’m not interested.

But you don’t get that choice.

Ya know.

[hopeful music plays]

All right, so which ones am I again?

[Ryan] Six through ten.

Oh, man, this is not looking good.

[Ryan] Here’s the ten, six.

Well, yeah, I don’t like any of my options, really.

[Ryan] Just hit ’em all, then.

Oh, I’m about to.

I will forever be grateful to Jim Doty, and Ryan Avis, and Tony Kava.

It’s my turn again?

[Ryan] You really don’t know how to play?

Well, I’ve seen it done.


[strikes ball]


They saved my sanity. [chuckles]

And… they’ll always be my boys.

They’re fantastic at what they do.

Tsk. And hadn’t been for them, I would still be in the dark now.

[hopeful music fades out]

[mysterious music plays]


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