The Puzzling Death of Elisa Lam

Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand.” – Neil Armstrong

On February 19th 2013, the dead body of Elisa Lam, a 21-year-old student from Vancouver, Canada was found at the bottom of the Cecil Hotel’s cistern located on the roof.

The L.A. County Department of Coroner ruled the death “accidental due to drowning” and said no traces of drugs or alcohol were found during the autopsy.

Elisa traveled by herself to Los Angeles, having stopped by in San Diego, planning to go to Santa Cruz as her final destination.

The Cecil Hotel

The Cecil Hotel was constructed in 1927, the hotel was intended for business travelers but in the 1950s it gained a reputation as a residence for transients.

The Cecil Hotel is located near Skid Row, which is a destitute world of its own, a city full of the homeless. It’s an area you don’t want to go near, especially at night, and has a reputation for drugs, prostitution, and crime.

The Hotel is known for several suicides and its criminal activity which includes three murders.

Most notably, the hotel was the reported residence for serial killers Richard Ramirez in 1985 and Jack Unterweger in 1991.

It was also allegedly the last place butchered actress Elizabeth Short, a.k.a. The Black Dahlia was seen before her grisly – and still unsolved – murder in 1947.

Elisa Lam’s last night at the Cecil Hotel

Elisa’s behavior was a bit odd to say the least when she entered the hotel’s elevator which there is four minutes recorded.

When she first enters the hotel elevator she immediately begins pressing all the buttons.

Once she realizes that the elevator doors aren’t closing she begins to “peek” her head outside the elevator as if to see if someone is out there, perhaps even following her.

After that, she tucks herself in the corner of the elevator as if she is hiding from someone or something.

At one point in the video she decides to go outside of the elevator and then hops back in and then goes back out to the hallway again

Around the 1:57 mark she starts motioning her hands in some weird “pawing at the air motion.”

It’s a very disturbing video to say the least.

What’s more disturbing is where her body turned up.

It turned up in the hotels bathing and drinking cistern located on the roof, and it wasn’t until the hotel guests began complaining about the funny tasting water that the hotel staff decided to investigate to see what the cause of it was.

It was then that they discovered the decomposing body of Elisa Lam.

She was found naked at the bottom of the tank 19 days after she was last seen alive on the hotel’s elevator security camera.

As what was reported earlier, no drugs were found in her system, yet it has been speculated that Elisa suffered from mental illness.

She had a blog here where she wrote about her personal musings involving fashion and also that she believed her legs were too big for her body.

She uses the initials L.L which I believe stands for Lisa Lam. Perhaps she went by Lisa and not Elisa.

It was also noted that someone updated her blog six months after her death.

But the question remains; how was she able to gain access to the hotel’s roof without anyone seeing her and without setting off the security alarms?

And how did a petite girl like Elisa manage to climb to the top of the water tank, remove the lid, and close it on herself? I would have to imagine that the water lids to a huge hotel like the Cecil would be rather heavy for security reasons.

There are many mysteries surround Elisa Lam’s death and until this day no one knows what really happened that night. At least not officially.

A movie is actually in the works based on the puzzling death of Elisa Lam. It is titled: The Bringing and is still in development.

Another movie was made in 2002 titled: Dark Water which is also eerily similar to Elisa Lam’s situation. The film is a remake of the 2002 Japanese film of the same name.

The strange coincidence with the Movie, Dark Water is that it is eventually discovered that the “Dark Water” is leaking from a cistern located on top of the apartment complex’s roof.

And not only that, the mother in the movie played by Jennifer Connelly is named Dahlia. The same as Elizabeth Short, a.k.a. The Black Dahlia who was murdered in the Cecil Hotel.

You Tube Video

Some viewers of the You Tube elevator video of Elisa believe that she is playing a game of hide and seek with someone outside the elevator.

Some insist that she looks to be playful instead of someone who fears for their life.

The question remains, who is the person outside the elevator?

To make this story even more interesting, there was a deadly tuberculosis outbreak just a few blocks from the site of Lam’s death, where coincidentally, the test kit used was called LAM-ELISA.

Until this day this case has not been resolved and the parents of Elisa have filed a wrongful death suit against the owners of the Cecil Hotel.

Los Angeles has lots of unsolved deaths, but I believe this one will not go away until there is some closure for her family.

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