Netflix’s new documentary, Crime Scene: Mystery and Death at Hotel Cecil, explores the strange case of Elisa Lam, the 21-year-old Canadian who disappeared in January 2013 while staying at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles.
The case has gained a lot of recognition on the internet, fueling several different theories from strange images from security cameras that were released by the Los Angeles police.
Two weeks after her disappearance, Elisa’s body was found in the hotel’s water tank after complaints from guests about the color of the water.
Filmmaker Joe Berlinger, who produced the acclaimed documentary Talking to a Serial Killer: Ted Bundy, returns to streaming with a new case in the four-episode documentary series.
The production features new interviews with police officers who worked on the case, the manager of Hotel Cecil, guests of the time, LA historians, and Internet users obsessed with the case.
>>> Find out more about the Elisa Lam case
The Cecil Hotel
(Netflix / Playback)Source: Netflix
The infamous hotel is located on Skid Row, a region with an abundance of drugs, crime, poverty and homeless people. In short, a bad old reputation.
Many murders and suicides have already taken place there. In addition, the serial killer known as “The Night Stalker”, Richard Ramirez, stayed at the hotel while committing his atrocities around Los Angeles. Others even believe that the place is haunted.
Parts of the hotel have been renamed to the name Stay On Main, which has its separate entrance. Despite this, Cecil still houses longtime residents and welcomes guests.
>>> Know more about the Hotel Cecil
The Elisa Lam case
(Uses Today / Reproduction)Source: Usa Today
On February 1, security cameras recorded Elisa behaving in a very strange way. She pressed several buttons on the elevator and seemed to be trying to escape from someone who was keeping the doors open. In addition, she acted as if she were hiding, jumping in front of the elevator, looking carefully, and gesturing a lot with her hands.
The footage was released by police before the young woman’s body was found, hoping to help with the investigation.
On February 19, however, Elisa was discovered in one of the hotel’s water tanks. She was naked and her clothes were also in the tank, as was her room key and her watch. The body was found by an official who went to investigate the problems the building was having with the water.
The building’s roof can be accessed through the fire escape and through an alarm door.
In addition, there is a conflict about whether the tank lid is open or not. At the time, police said the lid was found closed. In the Netflix documentary, however, the hotel official says the lid was open. The fact is relevant because it would be almost impossible for Elisa to have closed herself in the tank alone, which could mean that someone else would be involved in her death.
(KTLA / Reproduction)Source: KTLA
What happened to Elisa Lam?
The police report said there were no serious injuries, unknown drugs or signs of sexual violence on the Canadian’s body. The only drugs found in his body were those prescribed for his bipolar disorder.
The case was determined to be accidental drowning and the report suggested that Elisa’s bipolarity was a determining factor.
However, the documentary explains that the girl’s behavior in the images is not the same as that of a person having a bipolar outbreak. As a result, many people were dissatisfied with the police verdict.
To date, the case of Elisa Lam remains one of the many mysteries that surround Hotel Cecil. So, if you want to dig deeper into this story, be sure to check out the documentary on Netflix!