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"Lover, Stalker, Killer" Review

 If there's one thing Netflix seems able to consistently churn out it's entertaining true crime documentaries. Slickly produced and well told, they're usually short - running 90-120 minutes either as features or mini-series - for quick consumption. Recent winners have been Bitconned and the infuriating American Nightmare which exposed the police AND FBI has judgemental incompetents who seemed to base their "investigation" on watching Lifetime movies. New to Netflix is Lover, Stalker, Killer, another wildly bonkers true crime tale which still manages to surprise even when I was able to predict the twist really early on.

 It's the story of Dave Kroupa, a mechanic who relocated to Omaha, Nebraska to be close to his children after his marriage ended and his ex moved back home in 2012. Looking for love (or at least Miss Right Now), he signed up on a dating site and was matched with a woman named Liz Golyar, a divorcee with a couple of kids. Dave made it clear he was just looking for something casual and she was down for that and they had a great time together.

One day a woman named Cari Farver brought her car to his garage and he checked it out, but also took a liking to her and asked her out. A single mother, she also agreed to his no strings attached/friends with benefits arrangement and dated for a couple of weeks.

One night, while Cari was at Dave's place, Lisa showed up, ostensibly to retrieve something she'd left there. As Cari left, she and Lisa made eye contact for a few seconds, but nothing seemed amiss. But a couple of days later Cari texted Dave suggesting they'd move in together. Dave replied that he'd made clear that he wasn't looking for anything serious and it was way too soon to be playing house and she replied like a mature adult woman would: By swearing to destroy his life in every way possible.

Which she does with a constant barrage of texts and emails which then advance to vandalism against Lisa - keying her car, breaking into his apartment and slashing Lisa's clothes, eventually escalating to setting Lisa's house on fire, killing her pets, which prompted her to break off her relationship with Dave. When the threats extended to his ex-wife and children, they all had to move and change jobs to try and escape Cari's menace.

If you're wondering why the cops didn't step in to deal with Cari, it's because she had disappeared at the same time she began waging jihad against Dave, Lisa and their families. Cari's mother was looking after her young teenage son and her only contact with her daughter were cryptic text messages that she had moved to Kansas to sort things out in her life. Cari was bipolar and a search of her home found she hadn't taken her medicines with her, but also that she didn't appear to have taken anything with her as all her clothes and effects were still there.

 You can probably guess what was going on - I did - but the looooooong twisting road to get to the end is still fascinating stuff, especially the surprise connections between some parties are exposed or the lengths Cari goes to keep inflicting distress on Dave.

 If you like Netflix true crime docs, you'll like this, too.

Score: 8/10. Catch it on Netflix.


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