On the February of 2013, the body of Elisa Lam was discovered from the top of a water tank at the Cecil Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. She was reportedly missing for a couple of days prior to her death, until a maintenance worker discovered her dead body after a guest in the hotel started complaining about the water supply and pressure.
Five days prior to her death, media coverage— as well as the public interest— gained intensity as Elisa Lam’s last video (before her disappearance) got viral. The Los Angeles Police Department had released the video of her re-entering the elevator and speaking to someone in the hallway in an eerily strange manner.
The quality of the video was poor and the elevator seemed to be malfunctioning at the time. Honestly, the video is unsettling and there seems to be paranormal activity happening. Some suggest that the video was altered before its release.
In addition to the video, the state in which Lam was discovered was also questionable. She was naked and most of her clothes were floating in the water. In fact, it took the police officials four months to release the autopsy reports. After much delay, it was revealed that the body had no evidence of trauma and the death was purely accidental.
Not only did Lam’s parents file a lawsuit against the hotel, but the guest in the hotel did, too. Lam’s circumstances of death were eerily similar to the horror film, Dark Water, released in 2002. In fact, her story is often referenced in international pop culture.
There’s much interest in Elisa Lam, as people want to know who she was and what her story was, since her death was so tragic.
The daughter of immigrant parents from Hong Kong,she was a student at the University of British Columbia and—during her last days— she visited San Diego Zoo and took several pictures there and uploaded them on her social media accounts. She arrived in LA on the 26th of January and checked into the Cecil Hotel two days later.
Interestingly, she was assigned a shared room on the fifth floor but— due to the complaints made by her roommates— she was shifted to another room, where she stayed on her own. The lawyers of her roommates claimed that the changes in the room were due to her odd behavior.
It is said that because of the Great Depression, Cecil lost its market value and faced several financial difficulties from which it never recovered. Moreover, several high profile murders have occurred at this hotel.
For example, in 1964, Goldie Osgood was raped and murdered in one of the rooms and, unfortunately, that investigation never saw a verdict. In addition, serial killers like Jack Unterweger and Richard Ramirez have both been known to have committed active crimes in this hotel. In fact, not just murders, there have been several reported suicides committed at Cecil.
Lam was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression, and had four prescriptions as treatment. Her family made several key revelations indicating her state of mind. Apparently, they keep her mental health issues a secret from everyone. They also revealed that she had no history of suicidal ideation. But the interesting thing to find out is that she once went missing prior to her death— but that was only for a brief period.
She started a blog in 2010, where she posted pictures of various models and clothing designs. However, soon, the blog became all about her life and her struggle with mental illness. In the January of 2012, she suffered from a relapse, because of which she had to drop a couple of classes at school. This left her feeling directionless and lost.
One of the posts was titled “You're always haunted by the idea you're wasting your life" which is a quote by Chuck Palahniuk. After two years, she announced that she’ll be starting another blog on Tumblr called Nouvelle-Nouveau, which would be dedicated to fashion related content. However, she used the same quotation on this blog.
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Death of Elisa Lam shocked the world as it was all over social media – Netflix’s latest true crime series is a testament to that! Watch the scary last video of hers that went viral because that all you need to watch to give this crime series a go!