Lover Stalker Killer’s Tony Kava shuts down new theory

Daisy Phillipson
Tony Kava in Lover Stalker KillerNetflix

Lover Stalker Killer legend Tony Kava has shut down a new theory about the perpetrator at the center of the Netflix documentary. 

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, so why not celebrate by exploring the hellscape that is online dating with Lover Stalker Killer, Netflix’s latest true crime saga. 

The documentary centers on a love triangle between Dave Kroupa, Cari Farver, and Liz Golyar, one that takes an unexpected and deadly turn.

With Lover Stalker Killer out now, new theories are popping up, including one about a different perpetrator – however, Tony’s on hand to explain why it’s not true. Warning: the documentary is based on real-life events, but spoiler alert to those who are unfamiliar with the case. 

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Lover Stalker Killer’s Tony Kava shuts down new theory

A Redditor has suggested that Todd Butterbaugh – the Pottawattamie County network administrator who worked for Tony – is the real perpetrator rather than Liz Goylar, as the stalking was linked to his IP address. However, Tony has replied to prove why this is incorrect. 

For context, Dave had been cyberstalked and harassed for two years, seemingly by one of the two women he was dating: Cari. Tony, a techspert and Special Deputy, was called upon to assist in the case and do some digging into the texts, and he was able to find an IP address. To his surprise, it belonged to Butterbaugh, who had been dating Liz at the time they were sent. This led officers to conclude that it was actually Liz who had been stalking Dave, not Cari. 

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Still from Lover Stalker KillerNetflix

Along with plenty of other evidence uncovered by Tony and the Pottawattamie detectives, authorities eventually came to believe that Liz had murdered Cari. In 2017, Liz was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

But after watching Lover Stalker Killer, one viewer has taken to Reddit to say: “At around the 52 minutes mark, we learn that the stalking comes from the IP address of a computer tech guy (Todd Butterbaugh) that works for the police, who coincidentally is living together with ‘Liz’. 

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“From here on out, it seemed most logical that he is the perpetrator, scaring away any potential suitor to Liz. The main guy in the story even gets some rest from the stalking when, after Liz’s house was burned down, Liz moves in with the police guy.

“However, the documentary continues with the reasoning that it must have been Liz who committed the crimes because she lived with Todd. Why not look into the police officer? What motive did Liz have to burn her own house with animals in it? To shoot herself in the foot? 

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Photo of Todd Butterbaugh shown in Lover Stalker KillerNetflix
Liz Goylar had been dating Todd Butterbaugh at the time the messages were sent

“It would all make much more sense if it was the police officer, trying to secure Liz for himself. What’s up with this? Are we missing some information here?” They also mention the SD card, which featured dozens of selfies of Liz, as well as a photo of Cari’s foot covered in blood. “Couldn’t it have been that she sent selfies to this guy and he deleted them?” they asked. 

However, Tony has been posting under the username karver75 for years now, and he’s since taken to the thread to explain why this theory is wrong – and part of the issue here is due to the Netflix documentary’s 90-minute time frame.

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“Can confirm the right person is in prison,” he wrote. “As you guessed, condensing a multi-year investigation into 90 minutes (without boring the audience!) requires some omissions. That SD card had thousands of photos, hundreds match bit for bit the phone dump done on her phone in 2013, and the clincher is that there are even log files on it with her email info, her phone’s serial number, and lots more.

“It 100% came from her phone which she seems to have ditched since 2013. How did it end up in a tablet? Seems it was just cleared and reused, and finding it was a lucky break.

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“The guy she lived with was not a cop. He worked in the county’s IT department. He was investigated, and it was clear he had no involvement. Leslie Rule’s book, ‘A Tangled Web’, goes into greater detail on this case than any of the TV shows can due to the constraints of run-time. That said, I think they did a very good job telling the story in the allotted time.”

So there you have it – as is the case with all true crime documentaries, there’s only so much evidence and information you can show, especially when it’s a singular film rather than a series. Since sharing his response, plenty of fans have piled on the praise for Tony, who’s been dubbed the “real hero” of Lover Stalker Killer

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“I just finished watching the documentary. You were awesome. Super smart!” said one, while another wrote, “Awesome work by you and your team. Not an easy case, and I’m glad that her mother got the closure she deserved and this monster got the sentence she deserved.”

One asked about his health, as he revealed in the documentary that he needed surgery on a brain tumor while working on Cari’s case – but he refused to get treatment until his work was done. Thankfully, he’s doing well now, writing: “No surgery, radiation treatment seems to have done the trick, though I do try to blame every little thing I forget on the tumor (otherwise, what’s the point in having one?). Thanks for your concern!”

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Tony continues to promote good causes on his website and LinkedIn profile, urging those who watch Lover Stalker Killer and want to do something good in Cari’s name to donate to the Cari Farver Memorial Scholarship – if this is something you can and want to do, you can find the link here

Lover Stalker Killer is available to stream on Netflix – you can read more about where Liz is now here and check out new details surrounding the case here

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About The Author

Daisy is a Senior TV and Movies Writer at Dexerto. She's a lover of all things macabre, whether that be horror, crime, psychological thrillers or all of the above. After graduating with a Masters in Magazine Journalism, she's gone on to write for Digital Spy, LADbible and Little White Lies. You can contact her on daisy.phillipson@dexerto.com