(NBC News) — Friday on “Dateline,” when former Arkansas State Senator Linda Collins is found fatally stabbed outside her home, investigators must determine if her murder is connected to her political career or her personal life.

Here is a preview of Dennis Murphy’s report:

For elected officials, it comes with the territory. Now and then you get tossed out of office. For Arkansas State Senator Linda Collins that day of reckoning with the voters arrived in 2019. She’d been primaried and lost her seat in the State Capitol.

After nearly 10 years of service, she was packing up her boxes. It was an altogether bad patch for the senator. She’d been going through a divorce as well.

Her kids, Butch and Tate, knew all the turbulence had taken a toll on their mom.

TATE: if you knew Linda, you knew that– most important things to her were God — and then her family — and then probably the people of Arkansas.

DENNIS MURPHY: That’s her motto? That’s what she’s got stitched on —

TATE: Yeah.

DENNIS MURPHY: — her pillow?

TATE: Exactly.

BUTCH: Pretty much yeah.

TATE: Exactly.

But Linda, a force of nature if there ever was one, picked herself off the mat and did a little reinventing.

She returned to her rural hometown of tiny Pocahontas, Arkansas, in the northeast part of the state –soy and rice-growing country — and within months was dating a new guy. She was looking into good-paying lobbying jobs around the country.

BUTCH: you know, she loves politics. Why not continue that maybe in a different — different role, and — turn it into — an actual paying, you know, gig.

But as the philosopher observed: Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.

After a job-hunting trip to D.C., Linda Collins simply disappeared.

Watch Friday’s “Dateline: The Hands of a Killer” at 9 p.m. on News 2.