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News Every Day |

Killer Shanna ‘Liz’ Golyar was also ‘prime suspect in her son’s death’ & ex says ‘she masterminded our boy’s murder’

A DERANGED stalker-killer at the center of a new Netflix documentary was also once the prime suspect in her own son’s murder, years before she brutally stabbed a love rival to death over a man they met online.

Shanna “Liz” Golyar murdered Cari Farver in November 2012 and spent the next three years impersonating her in thousands of menacing texts and emails sent to their mutual love interest, Dave Kroupa.

Tayandy Braver
Killer Shanna ‘Liz’ Golyar was once the prime suspect in the death of her infant son[/caption]
Raymond Strahan
Little Cody Golyar died in January 1999 from shaken baby syndrome[/caption]
Facebook / Raymond Strahan
Raymond Strahan has always believed Golyar was involved in his son’s death[/caption]

To keep up her twisted ruse, Golyar also sent herself countless disturbing messages, burned down her home, killed her dog, and even shot herself in the leg.

Golyar was eventually snared in 2016 after cell phone data unmasked her as the mastermind behind the depraved plot. She was sentenced to life in prison.

Farver’s body has never been found but investigators recovered images of her remains from a device owned by Golyar. It’s believed the 37-year-old mom was stabbed to death near her home in Omaha, Nebraska, on November 13, 2012, and later disposed of.

But Golyar’s sickening crimes did not come without warning.

In an exclusive interview with The U.S. Sun, her ex-boyfriend, Raymond Strahan, likened Golyar to a simmering pot that was just waiting to boil over.

In fact, Strahan believes that Cari Farver’s tragic death could’ve been avoided altogether had investigators in Michigan acted on his suspicions after the sudden death of his and Golyar’s five-month-old son, Cody, more than a decade earlier.

“Shanna was most definitely capable of hurting my son,” claimed Strahan.

“I don’t know to what extent, but I could see her either doing it herself or manipulating someone else into doing it for her […] we all know now how manipulative she can be.”

TRAIL OF DEATH

Baby Cody Golyar was rushed to a Battle Creek hospital in an unresponsive state on January 29, 1999, after the mother of Golyar’s latest boyfriend Glenn Herr discovered the infant wasn’t breathing.

Despite efforts to save his young life, Cody was declared brain-dead and passed away shortly after.

A subsequent autopsy revealed the young boy had suffered a brain hemorrhage caused by vigorous shaking. His official cause of death was listed as shaken baby syndrome (SBS).

Golyar and Herr, then both 21, immediately became prime suspects in Cody’s death.

Herr, who suffers from brain damage, admitted to the authorities he occasionally tossed the boy into the air to make him laugh.

Charles Manson was just as manipulative as Shanna could be. They probably have the same psyche about them: an ability to manipulate people into doing exactly what they want.

Raymond StrahanGolyar's ex

Hours of grueling questioning would follow, and a sleep-deprived Herr eventually conceded he may have shaken the boy but he couldn’t be sure.

Herr’s family has long contested that he was “badgered” into making the admission by cops. His mom, Phyllis Herr, said her son is “simple” and has a tendency to get confused in highly stressful situations.

During Herr’s trial, it would be revealed that the night before Cody’s death Golyar had called Herr crying, telling him, “I dropped the baby! Get home!”

But it was Golyar’s testimony against Herr that turned the trial on its head.

She shared with the courtroom seven letters she claimed to have received from Herr while he was in jail in May 1999.

The letters, sometimes written in flowery and dramatic prose, included various damning passages purported to show Herr trying to convince Golyar to lie for him in court.

One of the letters read, “As my wife-to-be, I need you to come back up here and tell my attorney that on Thursday, the 29th of February the reason you called me from work at eight-thirty p.m. because you had dropped Cody from about four feet, which then caused Cody to stop breathing,” court documents state.

“So then, you shook Cody, not to do any harm, but to get him to start breathing again. Please, Shanna, this is what will set me free because they are trying to pin it on me […] I love you with all my heart and soul”.

Golyar’s double love triangle is shown above
Raymond Strahan
Raymond, seen with baby Cody, likened Golyar and her manipulative ways to cult leader Charles Manson[/caption]
Douglas County Jail
Strahan met Golyar in 1997. They endured a ‘flashbang romance’, he said, and within a year she fell pregnant[/caption]

Everyone was sequestered out of the courtroom before Golyar shared the letters with the jury.

Golyar was the only person asked to certify whether the handwriting on the letters matched Herr’s, court records show.

A recess was called afterward and Herr entered a guilty plea. He was sentenced to eight and a half years for second-degree murder.

To this day, Herr’s family believes he was framed by Golyar and coerced into confessing to Cody’s murder.

Golyar was never charged with any crime.

But speaking with The U.S. Sun, Phyllis Herr said there is no way her son would’ve been able to write the letters cited by Golyar because brain damage he suffered as a child means he has difficulty reading and writing.

“There’s no way he could’ve written those letters even now, let alone then,” said Phyllis.

“I don’t know why he confessed. But when he was in prison I asked him, and he told me it would be easier if he went to prison than Shanna.

“He had a family, he had friends, he had people who believed in him – and she had nobody.

“I think something happened the night before he passed away,” added Phyllis, referencing the night Golyar allegedly admitted to dropping Cody.

“I personally believe Shanna did it […] but my son was manipulated into taking the fall.”

Strahan has slightly different beliefs about who is to blame for his son’s death.

While he does still blame Herr, he believes Golyar masterminded Cody’s murder.

Strahan alleged, “I believe she influenced what happened […] I wouldn’t say that she framed him, but I want to say she manipulated him.

“After Glenn and I found out she was seeing us both at the same time, I can see her telling him, ‘If you get rid of mine and Ray’s son then you and I can be together forever.’

“I don’t put 100 percent of the blame on Glenn, but I put the majority of it on him because he’s the one that did it.

“I mentioned Shanna being like Charles Manson. Well, Charles Manson was just as manipulative as Shanna could be.

“They probably have the same psyche about them: an ability to manipulate people into doing exactly what they want.”

‘KARMA’S A B**CH”

Baby Cody’s death was unearthed by author Leslie Rule, daughter of the revered true crime writer Ann Rule, in her book, A Tangled Web, published in 2020.

Rule’s book plunges deep into Golyar’s past and follows her story right up until her conviction for Cari Farver’s murder.

The author – like Strahan and Phyllis Herr – believes Golyar should’ve been more rigorously investigated for any potential involvement in Cody’s death.

In the book, she writes, “[Glenn] was as easy for Shanna to manipulate as a handful of Play-Doh.

“Today, a long list of intelligent and embarrassed men have been forced to step forward and admit she duped them.

“If Shanna could trick experienced detectives […] how could an intellectually challenged twenty-two-year-old who thought he was in love understand her games?”

Handout
Dave Kroupa fell victim to Golyar’s web of murderous deceit in 2012 and remained under her spell for more than three years[/caption]
Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office
Cari Farver was murdered by Golyar in November 2012[/caption]
Citadel Press
Leslie Rule covered the twisted case in her enthralling book, A Tangled Web, which was released in 2012[/caption]

Rule told The U.S. Sun that Golyar is now a known pathological liar who is adept at impersonating people and forging confessions to frame others for her crimes.

Following her rigorous investigation, Rule believes it’s likely that Golyar forged Herr’s letters to encourage him to confess for a more lenient sentence.

Strahan claims that during the trial, he spoke with the assistant prosecutor on the case, who apparently told him the state lacked enough concrete evidence to pursue charges against both Herr and Golyar. (The prosecutor in question has been contacted for comment.)

He said he was relieved when he learned Golyar had been locked away for good in 2017 but saddened that another innocent life had to be claimed before she was caged.

“She should’ve been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in 1999,” said Strahan.

“It was bittersweet when I heard she got arrested because it sucks that Carrie lost her life and her son lost his mom, but karma finally came around and bit her on the a** at least.

“It felt like, finally someone had caught her and is putting her in a locked cell, which is where the hell she belongs.

“It wasn’t quite foreclosure but it felt pretty damn close to it for my son.

“Justice finally came and gave Shanna what she deserved.”

ANOTHER LOVE TRIANGLE

Strahan first met Golyar in the spring of 1997 while they were both working at a plastics factory in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Both in their early 20s, they were introduced by a mutual friend and immediately hit it off, embarking on what Strahan called a “flashbang romance.”

Their courtship hit a snag early on when Strahan introduced Golyar to both his mother and his stepmom but neither of the matriarchs warmed to his love interest, eventually outright telling him they didn’t like her at all.

Against his best instincts, Strahan ignored his family’s concerns but soon began noticing a series of red flags in Golyar’s behavior himself, namely extremely possessive and jealous tendencies, and an insatiable appetite for his attention.

“One thing she tended to want was attention for just about anything; good, bad, indifferent she didn’t care, all that mattered was that she got my attention,” he said.

“And if she didn’t get it, she’d give me this kind of s**ty look and glare right through me.”

Shanna didn’t behave like a typical grieving mother. Within a day or so of Cody’s death, [Phyllis Herr] ran into her at Walmart and was shocked by her cheerful mood.

Leslie RuleAuthor of A Tangled Web

Strahan claims that Golyar would sometimes cut herself when she didn’t get the attention she was seeking, though the wounds always appeared “superficial” and no serious damage was ever done.

He says she would also berate and interrogate him whenever she caught him speaking with a female colleague at work.

As their relations grew strained, Strahan became increasingly convinced that Golyar was cheating on him.

She’d often ask to borrow his car to go out and “help” one of her friends at all hours of the day, but all of the friends were male, and Golyar rarely specified what it was she was supposedly helping them with.

But the young couple was living together at Strahan’s dad’s home and breaking up with Golyar would leave her with nowhere to go.

Feeling responsible for the petite and hapless-seeming Golyar, Strahan persevered and assuaged his suspicions.

The pair were in a rocky place when, over lunch in early 1998, Golyar suddenly announced she was pregnant.

Battle Creek Enquirer
A newspaper clipping from the case details the final moments of baby Cody’s life[/caption]
ABC
Golyar was a controlling, manipulative partner who had an insatiable appetite for attention, Stahan said[/caption]
Facebook / Raymond Strahan
Stahan said he was relieved in 2016 when he learned that Golyar had finally been caged[/caption]

The news came as a shock to Strahan, who wasn’t entirely convinced the child was his.

Another shock came eight months later when a heavily pregnant Golyar told Strahan she was moving in to live with 21-year-old Glenn Herr, whom she assured was just a friend.

In reality, Golyar had been dating the two men at the same time for months and continued to do so even after she moved in with Herr.

TRAGEDY STRIKES

It was only after Cody’s birth in August 1998 that Golyar’s affair was revealed.

Strahan refused to have anything to do with her anymore but was determined to stay in his son’s life.

But Golyar only permitted Strahan to see his son sparingly, and only a handful of times without her supervision.

Cody was a fussy baby and often cried.

Strahan described Golyar as an “okay mother” who was fairly hands-off – but he never suspected she’d do anything to harm Cody.

That would change in January of the following year when Strahan received a call at his parents’ home from an emotionless Golyar who bluntly informed him, “Your son is in the hospital. You might want to get up here,” before abruptly hanging up.

“She was condescending and rude in the way she said it,” remembered Strahan.

“I could almost see that s**tty look on her face that she used to give me as she was talking.”

By the time Strahan arrived at the hospital, a lifeless little Cody was lying on a gurney strapped to a life support system.

The horrifying image left Strahan beside himself.

Golyar’s reaction was somewhat different, he claimed.

“At times she was doing what a normal mother would do, bawling her eyes out and all that stuff, but other times she was just strange,” he said.

“The guy that was supposed to have killed our son was at the hospital with us and she was all over him, hugging him and stuff, it was just so strange.

“A CPS worker came to interview her, and that worker came up to me after 20-30 minutes of speaking with Shanna and said, ‘If your son survives this, you need to go to Mission Point, which has a behavioral health clinic, and get her some help.’

“This was the first time she’d met her […] I don’t know what specifically made her say that but she said she wasn’t acting right.”

‘HEARTLESS’ BEHAVIOR

Baby Cody was pronounced dead at the Bronson Methodist Hospital after extensive efforts of resuscitation failed to revive the boy.

Strahan was devastated and took years to recover from the grief of losing his son.

A chipper Golyar, meanwhile, was reportedly spotted by Phyllis Herr shopping for a new wardrobe just two days after Cody’s death.

The supermarket encounter was first detailed by Rule in A Tangled Web.

The passage reads, “[…] Shanna didn’t behave like a typical grieving mother. Within a day or so of Cody’s death, [Phyllis] ran into her at Walmart and was shocked by her cheerful mood.

“Shanna was with an older couple, and the woman smiled at [Phyllis] and said, ‘We’re treating Shanna to a new wardrobe.'”

Recounting the same incident in an interview with The U.S. Sun, Phyllis Herr said, “Glenn was inconsolable and […] had he been my child I’d have been a basket case, but Shanna wasn’t.

“She had very little reaction and seemed just fine within days.

“I really don’t think she gave a s**t about that poor child.”

Strahan only saw Golyar a handful of times after Cody’s funeral and Herr’s trial.

He resented investigators for allowing her to escape any culpability in the boy’s death and beat himself up over the what-ifs leading up to that fateful day.

Golyar eventually moved back to her home state of Nebraska.

From time to time over the years, though still resentful, Strahan admitted to harboring feelings for Golyar and occasionally reminisced about the good times they shared.

Periodically he’d find himself looking her up on Facebook to see if she’d “spat out any more kids she didn’t deserve,” confessed Strahan.

It was during one such social media stalk in late 2016 that he typed her name into the search bar to find her mugshot plastered all over his timeline.

“I found out what she was accused of and it was just mind-blowing,” he said.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God, this makes such much sense,’ even though it was hard to believe that such a small framed girl was capable of doing something so awful as killing a woman and making her body disappear.

“I immediately contacted detectives and told them about Cody, telling them they needed to come down here.”

Shanna Golyar was arrested in December 2016 and charged with the first-degree murder of Cari Farver.

She stabbed Farver to death inside her car in a jealous rage after learning a man she was dating, Dave Kroupa, was seeing them both at the same time.

It’s unknown where and how Golyar disposed of Farver’s remains.

To cover up the killing, Golyar impersonated Farver in messages and on social media for more than three years, sending more than 15,000 emails and 50,000 texts to Kroupa, herself, and Farver’s family members.

WEB UNTANGLED

When her web of deceit started to fray in 2015, Golyar shot herself in the leg and attempted to pin the shooting on another of Kroupa’s exes, Amy Flores.

Golyar also began impersonating Flores in emails to detectives and even attempted to frame her for Farver’s murder, writing in one message that she’d stabbed Farver “three to four times” and stuffed her body into a garbage bag.

When Golyar was eventually arrested, they found some of Farver’s belongings inside her home, including a camcorder.

She was found guilty the following year of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. 

Today, she is incarcerated at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women where she continues to maintain her innocence.

After the release of her book, Rule received letters from Golyar, one of which read, “I will not stop fighting until I am set free and they find the right person.”

Rule never responded, insisting she wasn’t interested in developing any sort of pen-pal relationship with the convicted killer.

The author believes Golyar will never fess up to her crimes.

“I expect it’s very rare when this type of female killer admits guilt,” said Rule.

“Nobody would look at Shanna Golyar and even imagine she was capable of something like this – and that’s what makes her so dangerous.

“I can’t say for certain, but I won’t be surprised if Shanna Golyar never admits that she is guilty.”

Golyar’s murderous scheme is featured in the new Netflix documentary, Lover, Stalker, Killer, which debuted on February 9.

Netflix
The case has received the Netflix treatment. Love, Stalker, Killer debuted on Friday[/caption]
Nebraska Department of Correctional Services
Golyar continues to protest her innocence from behind bars[/caption]
Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office
Cari Farver was stabbed to death inside her car (above)[/caption]

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