AN ex-boyfriend of deranged killer-stalker Shanna “Liz” Golyar says he feels incredibly lucky to have escaped her clutches physically unscathed – years before she murdered a love rival in a jealous rage.
Golyar is currently serving life behind bars for the murder of Cari Farver, whom she is believed to have stabbed to death in 2012 before disposing of her remains in a still-undetermined location somewhere in Omaha, Nebraska.
The mom-of-two murdered Farver after learning their mutual love interest, Dave Kroupa, was dating both of them at the same time.
She then spent the next three years impersonating Farver online, sending Kroupa and herself tens of thousands of menacing messages to make it seem as though Farver was threatening to kill them.
To sell the twisted lie, Golyar even burned down her home, killed her dog, and shot herself in the leg. But authorities eventually caught on to the ruse and she was finally caught in December 2016.
Golyar’s arrest was no surprise to her ex-boyfriend, Raymond Strahan, who told The U.S. Sun in an exclusive interview that she was a ticking time bomb that was always going to explode eventually.
Strahan said he feels very fortunate to have escaped from her midst physically unharmed, acknowledging that he could’ve met a similar fate to Kroupa or potentially even Farver.
“It could’ve been me, and that’s what I told everyone when Shanna was first arrested,” said Strahan.
“I didn’t just dodge a bullet, I dodged a bomb because that could’ve been me. She could’ve very well stabbed me while I was sleeping, she had ample opportunities to do so.
“But she didn’t and I got lucky […] and once I pulled my head out of my butt, I was able to see that this girl was no good for me, and I started seeing her manipulative behavior, and the cheating, and all this stuff on top of it.
“I didn’t want to be with a person like that.”
SIGNS OF TROUBLE
Strahan started dating Goylar in 1997. She fell pregnant the following year and they had a son together, Cody, who tragically died in 1999 from shaken baby syndrome (SBS).
For a time, Golyar was considered a prime suspect in the case, but it was her boyfriend Glenn Herr – with whom she’d cheated on Strahan – who would ultimately end up being convicted.
Both Strahan and Herr’s family still believe that Golyar played a role in the boy’s death.
Strahan and Golyar first met while working at the same 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**tty look and glare right through me.”
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 when 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.
The news came as a shock to Strahan, who wasn’t entirely convinced the child was his.
I didn’t just dodge a bullet, I dodged a bomb because that could’ve been me. She could’ve very well stabbed me while I was sleeping, she had ample opportunities to do so.
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.
ANOTHER LOVE TRIANGLE
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 “OK 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.”
TRAGIC LOSS OF LIFE
Baby Cody was pronounced dead at the Bronson Methodist Hospital on January 29, 1999, after extensive efforts of resuscitation failed to revive the boy.
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.
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 was 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 8:30 pm [was] 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.”
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.”
SHADES OF MANSON
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.
He said his ex possessed a Charles Manson-like ability to bend people to her will and may have used her powers of influence on Herr.
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% 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.”
Strahan was devastated and took years to recover from the grief of losing his son.
A chipper Golyar, meanwhile, was reportedly spotted by Herr’s mom shopping for a new wardrobe just two days after Cody’s death.
The supermarket encounter was first detailed by author Leslie Rule in her book, A Tangled Web, which was published in 2020.
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 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 don’t think she gave a s**t about that poor child.”
‘WHAT GOES AROUND…’
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 so 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.”
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.
She was found guilty in 2017 of first-degree murder and sentenced to life behind bars.
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.”
Strahan, meanwhile, 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 Cari 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 closure but it felt pretty damn close to it for my son.
“Justice finally came and gave Shanna what she deserved.”
Golyar’s murder of Farver is featured in the new Netflix documentary, Lover, Stalker, Killer, which debuted on February 9.
#dodged #bomb #Netflix #Stalker #Killer #Lover #star #Shanna #Liz #Golyar #reveals #erratic #behavior,