When it comes to weird mysteries over the last few years, there aren’t many better than the strange death of Elisa Lam back in 2013, so I’m really pumped about this new Netflix docuseries that they’ve just announced will be dropping on February 10th.
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For those of you that don’t know, Elisa Lam – a 21 year old Canadian tourist – checked into the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles back in February 2013, but never checked out. Weeks later after she was formally declared missing, her body was found in the water tank of the hotel.
So far, so creepy, but what really sets this case apart from other similar ones is the chilling elevator footage that was released following the discovery of her body. In the video that you can see below, Lam gets into the elevator, presses all the buttons, then peers out of the door and runs off, leaving the doors opening and closing.
It’s really, really eerie:
See what I mean? On top of this, Lam had left all her worldly possessions in her hotel room, including her ID and money. It’s a very weird situation, so obviously true crime documentarian Joe Berlinger – responsible for ‘Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes’ and the ‘Paradise Lost’ trilogy was attracted to it.
Here’s what he had to say about it:
As a true crime documentarian, I was fascinated in 2013 when the elevator video of Elisa Lam went viral and legions of amateur detectives used the internet to try to solve the mystery of what happened to her, a 21-year-old Canadian tourist on her first trip to Los Angeles.
So, when journalist Josh Dean, who is also a producer on the project, brought us his research into this case, we realised there was as an opportunity to do something different by not just telling the story of Elisa’s disappearance, but to create a series that explores a particular location’s role in encouraging or abetting crime — or the perception thereof.
My past projects have leaned into individual crimes and criminals, but I have never explored the role a particular location has played in creating an environment in which multiple crimes seemingly take place over and over again. The fact that Elisa disappeared in a location that has a multi-decade history of crimes is what made her case fascinating to me.
That’s because – wait for it – The Cecil Hotel is a hotbed of weird activity and serial killer guests, with ‘Night Stalker’ Richard Ramirez known to be a regular client. The four part docuseries is entitled ‘Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel’ and will be the first in a new ‘Crime Scene’ anthology series. Looks good.
For more of the same, check out this one for more info on the serial killers of the Cecil Hotel. Very creepy place to hang out.