These Theories About Elisa Lam's Death Will Keep You Up At Night
Netflix's newest true-crime series, Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, has turned attention back to one of Los Angeles' most significant unsolved mysteries. Canadian college student Elisa Lam checked into the Hotel Cecil on Jan. 28, 2013. She booked a three-night stay at the Cecil, but she never checked out. On Jan. 31, her parents reported her missing. It was nearly three weeks before her body was found. For fans of Crime Scene, the theories about Elisa Lam's death seem endless.
Here is what people know for sure: Elisa Lam took an Amtrak train from Vancouver down to California for a vacation. She posted photos to social media of herself visiting tourist stops like the San Diego Zoo. She arrived in L.A. on Jan. 26. Two days later, she checked into the Cecil, a hotel famous for having housed serial killers and the site of numerous unsolved murders and suicides. Since 2011, it had functioned as a youth hostel; Lam was booked to a multi-person room. However, the hotel moved her after the first night to a single because her roommates apparently complained she was "behaving oddly." When Lam never contacted her parents to say she'd made it home, they reported her missing. On Feb. 19, her body was found in the hotel's water tank on the roof.
If you've seen Crime Scene, you understand just how puzzling her death, and the circumstances that may have led to it, are. Even if you haven't seen the docuseries, you've probably still heard of this case; it's one of the most bizarre and chilling stories in recent history. Here are the leading theories about what happened: