The Mysterious Death of Elisa Lam

This site, in general, has a theme: I try to write mostly about digital marketing, tech, entertainment….sports….Chicago stuff… ga — ok, OK; so there is no real consistent thread here (despite my half-hearted efforts to the contrary). I write about things that interest me; and, at times, those interests get a bit outside of this blog’s intended scope.

Such is the case now. Earlier this week — home, sick with a mild touch of the flu — I stumbled upon a link on the Facepages to a clickbait post about 10 unexplained photos or some weird shit like that. Anyway, the last entry, a video showing the last known minutes of a young Canadian woman in a Los Angeles hotel elevator — acting, well, incredibly effin strangely — immediately prompted further research.

Here’s a quick backstory on Elisa Lam: the 21-year old college was staying in LA in January 2013, when she failed to check out of her hotel room, and a missing persons’ notice was issued to the press. Weeks later, guests of the Cecil Hotel complained of a foul smell & color in the building’s water supply. After an investigation, police finally discovered the body of Lam, stashed-away in one of four large water tanks on the roof of the Cecil. 

The last known whereabouts of Elisa Lam were, as mentioned, captured on video by a security camera in an elevator at the hotel. At over three minutes long, the footage looks, most accurately, like a teaser clip for a new horror movie. Seriously. Lam is acting kind of weird; on top of which, the elevator, for whatever unexplained reason, doesn’t move from its position and remains open for most of the clip.

Don’t take my word for how strange this is — check out the video below, and see for yourself. And, before you ask, according to (who happens to be an authority on this sort of thing), this video, and the known details about Lam’s death, are very real

Investigators later ruled Lam’s death accidental, saying that no drugs or alcohol were found in her body (really? Had they seen the video??). The girl’s family did claim she had been previously diagnosed as bi-polar, and some sort of psychotic break could certainly explain her behavior that night — but, remove the way Elisa Lam was moving around in that clip, and then answer this:

  1. Why was the elevator seemingly stuck open, on that floor, for such a long period of time?
  2. How did Lam manage to climb into the water tank (an area described as “difficult to get to and alarmed” and put the lid back on it, which took several men to cut off to access her body?

Adding to this mystery is The Cecil Hotel itself — a budget lodge known for it’s 600 rooms, three known suicides, and a few murders; and, oh yeah, was the one time home to serial killers Richard Ramirez (“The Nightstalker”) and Jack Unterweger and one of the last places Elizabeth Short, aka The Black Dahlia, was seen before her still-unsolved 1947 murder.

Why this case has left me both so curious, and uneasy, is difficult for me to conclude. Perhaps its my own experiences with mental illness; the general disbelief that this video is legit; or some other macabre fascination with the unexplained piquing my curiosity. Regardless of why, I’d sure like to find out what happened that fateful night for Elisa Lam — if, for nothing else, to reaffirm my own believe that ghosts aren’t real, and nothing is ever as unexplained as it seems.

  • Joe

    Look at the foot (or whatever object) in the bottom left around the time you last see her.