Why 'Lover, Stalker, Killer' on Netflix is So Frustrating

Lover Stalker Killer Dave Kroupa Netflix

Netflix is back with another true crime documentary, “Lover, Stalker, Killer.” If you regularly watch “Dateline,” you will probably feel familiar with this case. It is tough to beat Keith Morrison’s silky narration and comprehensive coverage in Season 26, Episode 1. Nevertheless, “Lover, Stalker, Killer” gives viewers a compelling take on the frustrating events.

And there is one startling thing that this documentary (incidentally?) brings to Netflix subscribers’ attention. How obvious this case’s conclusion is. It only takes hearing about it for five minutes. The police work was anything except thorough. At least, that is the impression you quickly get watching “Lover, Stalker, Killer.”

The setup is simple, and what is scary is how Dave’s story could be anyone’s. Wait, who is Dave? When the doc opens, Dave is a single father trying to casually date women when he meets a single mom, Liz. He does not want a formal relationship and ends things with her. Then it happens. 

Right when you give up on love (in Dave’s case, casual sex), you meet someone. Or at least that is the adage that I have heard tossed around. Back to Dave, though, he is at work when he meets Cari Farver. She’s also a single mom, and Dave is quickly smitten. 

Long story short. “Lover, Stalker, Killer” explains that they hook up and are together for two weeks when Cari abruptly texts him about moving in together. Dave is uninterested in commitment and is thrown for a loop by the bizarre proposal. Before long, the texts turn sinister and creepy before launching into full-blown stalker mode.

The initial police work “Lover, Stalker, Killer” chronicles is striking. Thankfully, another (diligent) team stepped in, and amassed a very good picture of what happened. That this investigation went cold and lasted four years instead of four minutes is shocking. It is an indictment of many issues regarding law enforcement. 

Entertainment (movies, TV, podcasts, etc.) does a lot of heavy lifting to convince people the police (correctly) solve cases, and they do it quickly. To its credit, while Keith Morrison always catches the killer by the episode’s end, he reminds us how long victims’ families wait for answers. In the case featured by “Lover, Stalker, Killer,” it took way (emphasis on way) too long, in my opinion. 

Proving a legal case requires an evidentiary bar, and there are often limitations. The DA agreeing to charges takes a lot. Sometimes more than the case should require (opinion again). The police figuring out a key fact is another thing entirely. It was self-evident. 

Similar case: no one saw/heard rain, and a large swath of land is soaked. What happened? Spoiler alert: it rained. It is alarming to notice how differing the levels of police work are in “Lover, Stalker, Killer.” Similarly shocking is that the documentary leaves so much unsaid.

Did the IT guy get his tumor successfully removed? Is Dave still on dating sites/apps? How is everyone affected by these crimes currently doing? “Lover, Stalker, Killer” is excellent if you are a Netflix describe who does not know or remember the case. If you watched “Dateline,” I would wait a while before watching it.