ABC’s ’20/20: A Tangled Web’ chronicles the mind-boggling story of the disappearance and death of Cari Farver, a woman who unknowingly stepped into a twisted and fatal love triangle, the end of which was more shocking than anyone could have ever imagined. Incorporating archival footage and one-on-one interviews with everyone involved, including Leslie Rule, author of “A Tangled Web,” the book about Cari, it is an episode that unravels a thread of stalking and violence, along with the truth behind what really happened to Cari Farver.
How Did Cari Farver Die?
By all accounts, Cari Farver was a lively and warm woman who lit up any room that she walked into. But her life was not always all that positive. In her late 20s, a few years after she gave birth to her son, she was diagnosed with depression, which eventually escalated to bipolar disorder. Thankfully, though, by 2012, she was in a good place thanks to her medications. At the age of 37, Cari held a stable job as a computer programmer and was even casually seeing a man named Dave Kroupa. But suddenly, on November 13, she disappeared from her Iowa home, never to be seen again. Her car was gone, but some of her belongings were left behind.
Around that same time, Dave received a cryptic break-up message from Cari, and her mother got a text from her number, claiming that she had left her life behind to embark on a new journey in Kansas. Many of Cari’s other friends and family members received similar messages, and although they were all skeptical about it, they couldn’t prove they were illegitimate. So, it was only when Cari failed to show up on her half-brother’s wedding day, on November 16, that her mother reported her missing.
Even with that, nothing happened, and Cari’s family, along with Dave, continued getting messages that soon turned nasty in nature, even stalker-ish. In January of 2013, almost two months after the harassment began, Dave noticed a familiar car in a nearby parking lot while coming home from work. He went closer, and when he was sure that the vehicle was Cari’s, he took a photo of the license plate and sent it to the police.
When the authorities searched the car, they only found a single fingerprint, and it wasn’t Cari’s. As years went on, the text messages continued, but they became creepier, with Dave’s on-again-off-again girlfriend, Shanna “Liz” Golyar, also receiving them. However, in 2015, with new evidence, the authorities started to believe that Cari was stabbed to death within 24 hours of her disappearance.
Who Killed Cari Farver?
Dave’s on-again-off-again girlfriend, Shanna “Liz” Golyar, was found responsible for Cari Farver’s disappearance and subsequent murder. In 2015, Cari’s case got picked up by a different team, and they asked both Liz and Dave if they would be okay with downloading all the contents of their phones. The initial purpose of this was to see if they could maybe locate the area from where Cari was sending messages. But although nothing of importance was discovered from Dave’s phone, investigators did find a photo of Cari’s car in Liz’s phone, taken a month before the police even knew about its existence.
Along with that, there was a photo of a woman who was tied up – which had been e-mailed to Dave from Cari’s ID – and evidence that Liz had at least 20-30 fake e-mail accounts. Liz was also using an app that allowed text messages to be scheduled for a future time. With this, investigators began looking deeper into Liz and estimated that she must have spent about 40-50 hours a week impersonating Cari for almost three years. So, they decided to play along with her acting scheme to get her to confess to her crimes.
Within weeks, officers got knowledge of an e-mail that claimed that Cari had been stabbed to death in her own car. Thus, they searched her vehicle again, this time pulling off the fabric from the seats, only to discover that the passenger side cushion was blood-stained – blood that was later identified to be Cari’s. The fingerprint in the car also turned out to be a match to Liz’s, which was enough to secure a search warrant for her home.
From Liz’s place, the officers recovered several of Cari’s possessions. Later, Dave gave them her tablet, whose SD Card produced photos of what appeared to be decomposing body parts, including one of a foot with a tattoo of a Chinese symbol, the same one that Cari had on hers. Consequently, Shanna “Liz” Golyar was charged with first-degree murder on December 22, 2016.
She was convicted of the same a few months later, in August of 2017. Authorities believe that Liz killed Cari, let her body decompose, and then burned the remains so as to get rid of all the evidence. As she resided in Omaha at the time, they also think that’s where the crime was committed. All this was done just because Shanna “Liz” Golyar wanted Dave Kroupa all for herself.
Read More: Where Is Shanna “Liz” Golyar Now?