A murder case has many layers: the victim, the crime, and the investigation. To truly understand it, you need to dissect each piece of a tragic puzzle. Join Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi and Scott Weinberger every Wednesday for an insider’s perspective, as they reveal to you the Anatomy of Murder.
Wed, 18 Nov 2020 08:00
A young woman disappeared, but thousands of emails and texts from her continued to litter the inbox of the last man in her life. But her mother says all along, it’s not her. Stalker or Victim?
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Grab your copy of all good people here now, wherever books are sold. Hi everyone, what's the address of your emergency? OK. Do you know who did it? No. How many people were there? Oh, I I don't know. I only have one. Do you know that was male or female or female? I'm Scott Weinberger's, investigative journalist and former deputy sheriff. Glassie former New York City homicide prosecutor and host of Investigation Discovery's true conviction, and this is anatomy of murder. Today's case is the type that you wouldn't believe it if it wasn't true because just when you think things are going in One Direction, they're completely going to then point in another. And as soon as you think, oh, OK, we're getting it, it's going to change again. I think it's probably one of the most unusual cases Anna Seago we've ever looked into. And I think for the listener, it's going to be quite the whiplash effect by the end. Today we're going to talk about Carrie Farver, a young mom who went missing in 2012. I had the chance to talk to Carrie's mom, Nancy, who described how she. Please carry in small town Macedonia, IA. Well, there's probably not more than 300 people in this town and it's, you know, just like they say in small towns, everybody knows what you're doing and. That's true. Her mom, Nancy Rainey, raised her there, and as she went off to school, Carrie Farber came back and she became a young mother herself and raised her son Max there as well. Carrie went to school all of her life. Very smart. She went to KU the first year. And kind of crashed and burned there. Early on, one of her dreams was to be in nursing, and I remember her mom talking about the fact that she was so smart and she was so book smart, aced all the tests, but when it came to actual practical work in the surgical studio, she passed out. That sound a good sign? The doctor said, well, maybe it's the first time, maybe he's not used to seeing the blood, and maybe the instruments may make you nervous. So let's try it again. Next time. Passed out. And then the third time, I think by that time she realized she was not made out to be in that field. We're all built for something and for Kerry that ended up being computer programming. It was Y2K at that point. You know, when they were having all that fair about everything was going to shut down. They offered this class for coding and she went to that class. In fact, she had Max in the middle of it. So she was nursing. And at the time, while she was, she took that class. And when she had her son Max, she was just 23 and she was back in there taking her exam in school two to three weeks later. And that really talks about the person that she was. She was someone that no matter when things were tough. For her, she was going to power through and she found this fantastic job that was in Omaha, NE. The only problem with that is that that was over an hour commute every single day. She had this young boy at home who was now a young teenager, but luckily Nancy, her mom, was there to really help out and Max was with her really as a second mother a lot of that time. I think part of her interest also in going to Omaha. To branch out a little bit, and she had recently started dating someone she met at a garage who was working in fixing her car, and that's where Dave Cooper came in. The two of them were very similar in that neither of them was looking for anything serious. He had just come out of a very serious relationship and she had all that she could handle on her hands, but once they met, really, the fireworks started going off immediately. I knew she was staying with him. I did not know who he was because she had this thing about not bringing someone around that she wasn't sure about the relationship yet. She just didn't let us in on everything. She had told her mom that she was going to stay in Omaha for the week because she had a big project and that was not a big deal. Max was going to stay with her grandmother, Nancy. She needed to stay over which he lives, like maybe 5 minutes from where she worked, so I can understand her reasoning. That was November 11th, 2012. Man, that was left there, I got my daughter. Nancy, she got a text message from Kerry saying, oh, by the way, mom, I've been offered this unbelievable job in a different state in Kansas, and you're not going to believe what I'm making. And she gave this exorbitant amount of money. And Nancy said this is not right. I thought. Where did this come from? If she had a terrific job offer, she would have. Come home and told me about it, or she would have called me and told me about it so I could hear her voice and and then I couldn't get any, you know, any kind of answers. Then the next day, and the next day. There was a real reason for Nancy. To be concerned outside of just the text messages, because coming up shortly was a family member's wedding where Max was playing a very big role. Her son was playing a very big role in that wedding and she knew that Kerry would never miss that event. Exactly. They've all been waiting for this event for months. And so Kerry keeps pushing Nancy off. I'll get there, I'll get there, I'll get there. And Nancy, as she told it, to me, it's just it's heartbreaking because they're waiting for her and it's not just Nancy waiting for her, it's her 14 year old. And Max. And Polymax was sitting there with with everybody asking him where his mother was. And she said that he just kept turning his head and looking to the back of that church, just waiting for his mom. And she never came. It was on Friday night that I ended up reporting her missing. And so I gave them all the information. And of course, you know, she had been diagnosed with depression and was on medication. And of course, when they take that, like she could have just taken off and decided she didn't want to come home. Well, yes, you could have, but that's not my daughter. But they heard bipolar and that's what they went with. That was when I got real frustrated. So, Scott, from the law enforcement side of it, how do you treat a missing persons report when you know that the person that's missing also has a mental health issue? So I can tell you about the many times that I've responded to these homes when I worked in uniform, that someone allegedly is just missing. And as the officer who's taking down the information, you have to start developing in your mind a picture, you know, let me set the stage here. What could this be? Could this be somebody who just wanted a couple of days away from the family, that they have a fight, that they want to clear their head? That happens all the time. In fact, the majority of people who are reported missing simply turn up, and it's not under suspicious circumstances. It's not a crime and they do it for all sorts of reasons. And then you add the potential mental health issue that raises the Spectra for police to really believe that this does not involve a crime and that it's somebody either having a potential breakdown or someone who just needed space away from the family. And I've had this conversation so many times over the years with victims family and I have to explain to them from law enforcement side. And for us it was normally looking at a particularly busy precinct. You know, there's only so many officers. For the thousands of complaints that are coming in, including lots and lots of young people that didn't go home when they should have, they leave jobs. They leave loved ones. And law enforcement knows by the numbers that usually they're OK. It's the danger that it's the one, the needle in the haystack. That's what Nancy kept saying. I am telling you, I know my daughter and something's wrong. I know my daughter. When she would get depressed, she was the type of person that would just call and into bed and pull crevassed up over her head. She didn't take off. She still knew she had responsibilities. And she kept up with those responsibilities. She didn't just. You know, throw him to the wind and say I can't take it anymore. So in and another thing. She would never have left her son. Never. I think there was a lot of disappointment with Nancy in the beginning with the investigation because she believed they only focused on the potential that she left because of mental health issues. Now, even though that was the leading theory. Investigators did sit down with Dave Cooper, the man she had just begun to date. And when they were talking to Dave, he did say something that was very interesting and became a key focus of the investigation early on. He says he got a message from Kerry, a text message that said, hey, Dave, I think you're great, let's move in together. And Dave was like, whoa, what's going on here? This is a brand new relationship. And he responded just like everyone that just heard that he's like, no thanks, this maybe isn't going to work out. I think maybe that we're done. But that answer didn't seem to really work for her. He definitely expected her to be OK with it based on their beginning of this friendship, so to speak. But she wasn't. No, she was ******. In fact, she told him right in the next set of texts, I don't want to see anymore. I hate you. That's pretty strong language. Clearly he dodged a bullet in his mind, but it didn't. Stuck. He started getting text after text and e-mail and Facebook messages. They just kept coming and they got nastier and they got more serious and he was actually getting scared. Now, Dave had an ex-girlfriend, a woman by the name of Liz Gallier, and she didn't know Carrie at all yet she too was getting text messages from Carrie things, saying things like, you better leave Dave alone. He's mine. And she actually felt that Kerry was stalking her and wanted to make sure that she was out of the picture. And so you might say to yourself, well, why would carry do that? Liz is the axe, but Dave wouldn't be the first guy to leave the new girlfriend to go back to the ex. We've all heard stories like that. How many times have you heard about the new girlfriend that's jealous of the old girlfriend? He wants to make sure that nothing comes in the way of this new relationship. Swaynos he go. Why do people stalk? Obsession is part of it, but there's also this need for control, and it's really a sense of entitlement. It is someone's sense of entitlement that they have the right to follow, they have the right to look through the window, they have the right to call 5000 sometimes in a one week. And it's this warped sense of reality that someone thinks that because they want something, they are entitled to it, and they're going to get that person any way that they can. In a legal sense, right? Reading these text messages, where does it go over the legal line? Where does it become a crime within the context of those messages? When you start to use words like going to hurt, kill, those are some of the obvious, but when it's not there, you have to read into them much deeper sometimes. I didn't know where she was supposedly was these were coming from. And I knew it wasn't Kerry doing it because the way she talked, Kerry was very meticulous in her spelling and grammar, even in text messages. And I had told the police about that. I said it's not Terry doing this. I kept trying to tell him that. And Max was getting messages also. She was threatening to come pick him up at school and take him to Kansas, and we got nervous for Max's safety. You know, she was teasing us for the three years she did, and that's it. I mean, we're not talking about days or weeks. This went on for years. Propensity of violence, as investigators would find out, because Dave would be text to photograph of a woman bound and gagged in the trunk of a car that appeared to be Liz. But luckily it wasn't because Liz was very alive and well when police went to go speak with her. When this whole thing started I thought it was weird because they had dated for like 2 weeks is what they said and I don't understand how a person that dated him for two or three weeks would stalk me like break out my windows and spray painted ***** across my garage. And you could tell by the types of questions the Texas were asking Liz. To them, carry was the suspect. Would she ever harass you on like social media sites? Like what? Like Facebook, PLF, OK Cupid? That's a dating site I got harassed on there, harassed by Kerry, whoever was using her name or whoever it was. But then the mystery continues. Who was that woman in the car? And two, why was Carrie texting that if it wasn't true? You know, obviously they thought at a certain point that Kerry was really upset with Dave and that she really did want more than Dave wanted in a relationship and that maybe she felt like Liz was really standing in the way. But you go from this. Threatening, really kind of freaky e-mail about the the fake kidnapping. And then it really did get violent because Liz came home one night. And there was smoke coming from the roof of her house. And she went inside or started to go inside, and that home was on fire, not only was it on fire. She had Pats, she had a snake, I think she had a cat and dogs and they were actually killed in this fire. So it really did now start to take a real violent turn and police were involved, but now in a different way than certainly Nancy had planned because now there was an arrest warrant, but for Carrie. Carrie was the prime suspect in this arson case, but no one could find her no matter how much they tried. Well. Until one day Dave walks out of his apartment and sees carries SUV parked in his parking lot. This is the woman that you think has been stalking you. And stalking your ex-girlfriend and all of a sudden she may be waiting for you in her car in your apartment complex. At this point, detectives found carries SUV in Dave's apartment complex and Dave was for sure believing. She was watching him even further. But when that car was looked into, Carrie was not inside. No trace of her anywhere. So, Scott, how would a car be processed in a simple stalking case? Not thoroughly. You're not going to have crime scene come out to the recovery of a vehicle like that and process the car unless there's evidence that an actual crime took place, blood evidence on the vehicle, something within the purview of the officer stepping up to the car, seeing inside the car. That would probably lead them to just process the car with the officer responding. That SUV is processed by police. They go through the interior cabin of the car, and they do recover a small mint case with a set of fingerprints on it. When they ran them through NCIC, they determined that those fingerprints were not only not carries, they also didn't come back to anybody else. And we certainly know in this business that fingerprints can tell you who was there, but they can't tell you when they were there. So for all we know, this was. Some friend she'd had months before. We don't know if it's anything sinister at all, but at the same time they also don't know that it isn't. But then something else happened. In one month, the address of your emergency. Oh yeah, I've been shot in the lake. So the 911 operator in Council Bluffs, IA, dispatches officers and ambulances and they find Liz Golier on the edge of this bridge shot. In the leg. That is not something that happens every day over there. When did this happen? Long enough for me to walk from the Frisbee and my car. OK, is the assailant still there by? So I took on burning. Which way? How many people were there? Yeah, so I I don't know. I only have one. The only one I think. And then she's asked who it was and the name she gave. It wasn't Carrie. It was Amy, Amy, Flora. She is yet another spoke in the wheel with Dave at the center of it, because she actually has a child with Dave. She was his significant other for years before any of these other women came about. So she says that it was Amy that walks up behind her, she didn't see it coming, boom, shoots her and then runs away. So now the police heads are turned in a completely other direction. So yeah, maybe someone's trying to keep Liz and others away from Dave, but it's not Carrie. Maybe it's Amy. So, Scott, what stands out to you as suspicious about Liz's story? Well, first aniceta as a detective working this shooting, I would be asking myself, is her story even feasible? Here is why I say BS. So imagine you're on this bridge, and it's so, so quiet. That you can hear fish turning up and down on top of the water. For someone to be able to sneak up, walk up on foot. And not be heard, I say. Impossible. And by the way, if I'm alone, I'm not going out into this secluded place in the wetlands by myself to clear my head. I mean, it just makes no sense right there from a woman's perspective, no? It's just your leg, you say. Yeah, nothing else. Is it your upper or lower? All upper. I think it's also interesting to note where she shot. She is shot in the fleshy part of her leg. I think it's the one where it would probably cause the least amount of damage, not take any arteries out. So now for me, I'm thinking, wait a second, something is wrong with this story by the way. If you're going to shoot someone out there, you want them gone. Like, Oh yeah, boom, this is what I've got for you. But out there, if someone is going to sneak up on them, to fire at them, I'm expecting you're going to have a homicide. Non assault for a really? Flesh wound. But we do have a fresh crime scene. And we have her Iding the shooter. So investigators had to act quickly. So they go to Amy's house, they knock on the door, and surprisingly Amy answers and Amy says I've been home all night. But you can search my house. I don't own a gun. I don't have a gun and talk to my neighbors. They know I've all been home. In this case, everything that she said rang true. Neighbors said she was home. They found no weapon in the house, and they started to really, really develop a whole new theory in this case. I love seeing what police did next in this case, because what they did with Liz is really what I thought the genius in it all. I told you I was looking into a missing persons case briefly on the phone, right? The case is regarding a Carrie Farver. Are you familiar with her? Like I said, I barely even know her into her one time and. You're going into Dave's apartment to pick up my stuff. OK, so my first question is, when is the last time that you saw Kerry in person? That evening when they started dating. Earned Dave OK, just kind of walked me through that just real briefly. So I just know the night that I called him, I had called him and told him that I thought I left my work keys in one of my. Scrub shirts at his apartment. Yeah. So I went over and she came out and I was going in and she made a smart comment to me. Call me. OK? And it wasn't a big deal. I didn't really care at the time. I just wanted to get my stuff. So I just went and got my stuff. And I don't know, he was talking to her on the phone while I was getting my stuff, and then I left and went home. That's the only time you've ever seen her in person. OK. Haven't seen her in person since. No. OK. Is there anyone that you think would want to hurt Kerry? I didn't know her long enough to know if anybody wanted her. Well, just out of, you know, all the, you know, I've read the case file another. Made a lot of drama with all this stuff, but anybody can think of that would have any ill will towards her or Amy. Amy's mom? That's Amy. Flora. Flora? Yeah, she was with him for 12 years. And she still goes in and out of his life all the time. So. So you think she could've been a person that did some of that stuff? I'm just saying, as another person who would be possessive of Dave, it would be her. So, I mean, I wouldn't put it past her. Makes sense. I'm going to tell you some stuff here that I would hope would stay in this room. OK? We we kind of. Pretty significant break in the case, OK. There are some been some remains that have been located OK. We're waiting on the lab results to make a positive ID, but the initial indication that these remains are carried. Now, they haven't found Carrie at that point, but they just want to see her reaction. So with this new break that we've had in this case, my mind kind of leads to if somebody be bold enough. To shoot at you if that was Amy. Hmm. It doesn't take a lot of steps in your head to go put. Maybe bold enough to do something to somebody else. Possibly carry. Has Amy ever sent you any messages talking about wanting to harm carry? Maybe something that was vaguely referencing the new she had or maybe saying she knew her? Carrie was you get what I'm saying? You kind of. You were always said that she wants to be. Me too, so yeah. Like I said, she's very possessive of Dave. So. I I wouldn't put it past her beating the crap out of somebody, but I don't know if she has or she hasn't. She hasn't told me. I guess I was just trying to hopefully, I was hoping that maybe you had a message or something or receive something that she said, hey, you know, I'm going to do you in like I did carry or you know I'm going to. Do this to you like I did carry or something like that, and it was planting that seed that they really need her help. They need her to be in touch with Amy to see if Amy will tell her what she has really done. So if you do receive any messages from her that are like that, because I'm thinking, hey, you know, we're starting to stir the pot with us, starting to talk to people, maybe she gets a little bit more bold with what she. Starts messaging people you know. But then what she comes back with is supposedly these emails that she has now received from Amy, having Amy now confessed to what she supposedly did to carry in Carrie's car. What does Amy say their emails to you? Most of the time, it's just about. Dave living with her. Just nonsense like that. Oh yeah, and then a few of them was. I think back in January, she sat along one that said that. Sorry she had. Killed Carrie. She said that to you? And she goes through the scenario of having Carrie captive in her car and pulling out a knife and stabbing Carrie as she's there in the passenger seat multiple times. And when detectives look at this, when we look at this. That is a confession right there. Although it's supposed to be Amy, it's really Liz talking about what she herself did. What they had to do here was continue connecting the dots. At that point, they wanted to get something very important out of that SUV, and within that SUV they reprocessed the front passenger seat of that car. Scott said they're going back a second time to look in this car. What's going to be different the second time around? 3 words fine tooth comb. That's when investigators and crime scene investigators are going to look at every inch of that vehicle, using all sets of different tools to search that vehicle, spraying luminol throughout the vehicle, using a black light to try to detect any blood evidence that may be in the car so it's treated like a full blown homicide scene. So the first time really, it's like with your eyes, what can you see? And now it's really a forensic deep dive, 100% and in within the foam of that front seat. Under the fabric of that front seat, they found a large red stain. Tested that stain and whose blood was it? It was carries. Now there is evidence that something indeed really sinister has happened to carry, and that was the peace now that prosecutors needed to tie it all together. They may not have had Carrie's body, but they had her blood, and that was now enough. Well, my name's Dave Schneider. I work with the Omaha Police Department in the homicide unit. OK, doing some follow up on that with the in conjunction with the Polk County Sheriff's Office. OK for a person who's been missing since 2012. And who's the missing person? Sorry, I'm not sure. On the last time, did you ever see Carrie's car? I mean, as you know, when we go into an interview room to interview a potential suspect, we normally never go in there not knowing what the answer to our questions is going to be, because it's our way of trying to catch them in a lie. So they had a plan, and I agree with you, it was ingenious. You ever seen it, but you never actually saw carry in that car and you've never seen that car? You don't know what kind of car it was out to look for it. Black Ford SUV. Have you ever been in a car like Dave wasn't ever driving it or he never drove it out? Or, you know, I don't go anywhere now? Hmm. I won't let my kids go anywhere. I don't go anywhere. My son had to move in with his dad. I mean, no, I don't know what Amy saying is true. I don't know. I'm more. I'm more scared that something gonna happen to me and then my kids aren't gonna have anybody. Like, what do you mean? Because the e-mail that she sent? They're pretty graphic. The reason why you're in this chair right now today is because you have a lot of questions that you need to answer for me. Very important questions in a very serious position here. Umm. For. Four years almost now. This woman's son hasn't had her mom. From, you know, Mom, I know. Concerned too, because I'm just like, she's missing her family. It's a very tragic case. They're all tragic. Someone will kind of touch home a little more. You know, you have a mother here that doesn't you know that kid? He doesn't have his mom and a mother who lost her daughter. And the reason why I want to talk to you specifically is her phone was. At your house right after she disappeared. My house phone when she went missing was at your house. The location data shows you specifically at at your house. I want to ask you how you can explain that to me please. She's never been to my house, exactly. So if she's done disappearing her phones at your house when her vehicle is located, guess what was found inside the vehicle. Your fingerprints are inside her vehicle. You've never been inside her vehicle? How would your fingerprints be inside of the vehicle? But I've never been in her car. I don't even know What Car she drives. You told me What Car she drives me. No. All I told you was what I was told. Word. That's it. And SUV. That's what I was told. That's it. You know when when you get permission to download your phone, they can extract deleted data from those things. There is a picture of Carrie's car. That you would delete it on your phone. A picture of her car with her plates. Her explorer was on your phone. I've never seen her car. For years and years people have been sending emails under carries fictitious accounts. The location data on that sometimes. Is masked by different apps, but we have ways around that, and a lot of times it wasn't masked by different apps, so the IP addresses show up to whose house. Your house. Please, this is where I want you to think hard, OK about. What direction are they going here? Are you going to sit in this chair? Be remorseful. Bringing US industry be cold blooded because right now we have your parents in the car, her phone at your house. You using multiple e-mail accounts, creating all these different social media sites, profiles for years saying 10s of thousands of messages. After four years this family's been looking for answers. Just wanna say, how do you think that Liz was able to impersonate, carry through all those text messages, emails, Facebook messages? I've seen it many times and all the forensic technicians will tell you that there are so many different computer programs out there and ways to do this that it is sometimes simple as knowing the app to put on your phone. And that's exactly what happened here. They were able to trace the IP address, which is the physical address of where the computer is. That said, this was absolutely not carried that every time they looked, she was sending it halfway around the world. But all of it came back to one person and that was Liz Gollier. And it really is one of the amazing things about technology and what we've seen where it used to be you'd have to take a physical computer somewhere or be on someone's physical computer. Now it's just a question of the program and the apps that you have. Let me just give you a heads up. The Pod County Sheriff's Office has has got your phone right now. They've got, they've done. Warrants in your house have seized this morning while you were at work, they seized all this data and all this information. They downloaded it. They know where these emails were created from specifically. So now they knew The Who committed it. Could they prove that there was the actual crime? Well, there's no body, right? With the absence of a body, it's always difficult to prove a crime has occurred. But they have circumstantial evidence and any prosecutor can tell you it doesn't need to be direct evidence. Circumstantial evidence can be just as good and sometimes better. It's a different type of evidence. But no prosecutor will ever say that we have enough. We always want to have as much as we possibly can because it just takes one on that jury to not get it. And what happened just a week or two before the trial really was a game changer in this case. So within the search warrants that were issued for this case, police were able to collect a camera that Liz had at her home and in within that camera and SD card. Tony Carver, the forensic technologist that looked through all this data, he was going through hundreds, thousands of pieces of information. In one of those photographs, he saw a foot. But it had tattoos. That particular picture, it had a tattoo of the yin and Yang symbol that her and her husband had gotten when she was married and she had gotten a tattoo on the top of her foot. It was a Japanese sign that meant mother and yeah, I know, Sir. Liz is clearly stalking from the beginning. She is watching. She knows every move Dave makes. This is the first time that he had ever dated Carrie, so she was calculating and methodical every step of the way and hear her conniving. Got the better of her and she made a lot of mistakes in the end. Judge found her guilty and she got life in prison without parole. For the reasons that she did, it was just so. Stupid. And I lost a friend too. To this day, Nancy and Max have moved on as best they can. That whole will never be repaired, but they still don't have her body. And there is something in that. Everyone that you've spoken to who has unfortunately been in this, they say they want to lay their loved one to rest, and Nancy and Max have never been given that opportunity. And what about for Max? He's getting married in June. Ohh he is. Yeah. That is a ray of sunshine in the yeah. Electric brutal. Twist of life, the girl that he's marrying, he started going with in 8th grade. And they've been together this whole time. I really can't tell you how happy it just made me when you talked about him getting married, because I remember you telling me about that girl. Yeah. To hear that. I mean it just it brings a smile to my face right now because having seen Nancy and knowing the pain. That these people have been through, Nancy will see her grandson walk down the aisle and start his own family. That, to me, is something that Carrie will be smiling when she's looking down on them for it. And they're big and small because they're going to feel her with them every step of the way. Closure. There's never closure. But it's a bright line along that walk. TuneIn next Wednesday, when we'll dissect another new case on anatomy of murder. Anatomy of Murder is an audio Chuck original, A Weinberger media and forseti media production summit. David is executive producer.