Elisa Lam – A Genuinely Mysterious And Creepy Death

On October 20, 2013 by Tim Newman

Elisa Lam - Strange Mystery Case - Portrait of Lam

You may remember this odd news item from earlier in the year, I sort of remember it but didn’t pay much attention at the time. The case is doing the rounds again at the moment and someone sent me a link so I had a look. It really is pretty mysterious.

Elisa Lam (21), from Canada, was on holiday in LA. She was staying at a seedy hotel in a crappy part of town called the Cecil Hotel. That’s the start of the story and the end goes like this: Elisa Lam was found naked in a water tower on the roof of the hotel having been dead for two weeks. So we know the start and the finish to the tale, but the middle section is a complete and utter mystery.

Initially it sounds like like a straight forward case of murder or intoxication, but neither of those fit the bill. The water tower is behind two locked and alarmed doors and is 15ft high, and locked shut. Elisa’s autopsy showed no trace of drugs or booze and no signs of trauma to her body. The pathologists report gave a verdict of “inconclusive”. That’s all pretty confusing isn’t it?

No one in the hotel saw Lam with anyone else and her clothes were never found.

Elisa Lam - Strange Mystery Case - Graduation

A video has been released taken from a CCTV camera in a lift the night she died. It’s creepy enough because you know it’s the last footage of her before she died, but the way she behaves is also pretty odd. She looks like she’s hiding from someone in the lift, but doesn’t look completely terrified. The lift doors don’t close, which isn’t that weird, lifts break all the time and have a life of their own, especially if you’re in a rush. But she keeps checking as if she is being followed.

Then at 1:50 whilst she is stood just outside the lift she starts making some pretty weird hand movements and contortions, the cheap low grade camera enhances the weird effects I think. But her behaviour is definitely strange. Have a look. It gave me shivers like when I watched Paranormal Activity. I’m easily spooked tbh.



So what do you think? I have used the might of Occam’s razor and here’s my version of events: I think she may have been mentally ill (she is supposed to have suffered from bipolar disorder, although that wouldn’t explain hallucinations or psychoses), or had some kind of mental breakdown which explains the weird behaviour. I think that someone who works at the hotel, like a caretaker or security guard then decided he would take advantage and killed her and hid her in the water butt. That kind of fits the bill, but there were no signs of struggle and she can’t have been drugged to keep her sedated as it would have shown up in the autopsy results.

Or, perhaps a caretaker accidentally left the door to the roof open, Elisa decided to have a roof top swim. She drowned alone in the tub. The caretaker later realised he’d left the roof unlocked, ran back to check no one was up there, found some clothes but no people, cleared the evidence and then kept the whole thing to himself? Maybe.

It is a genuine mystery. Here’s a news report from the time so you can see just how difficult it would have been to get into one of those water towers.



See. They’re pretty big aren’t they?

Elisa Lam - Strange Mystery Case - Cecil Hotel Body

As you can imagine, the paranormal posse are well into this. It’s a perfect ghost, evil spirit story thanks to a host of creepy previous tenants. In the hotel’s sordid past it housed the serial killer Richard Ramirez AKA the Night Stalker who claimed the lives of at least 13 women and Jack Unterweger, an Australian journalist who killed 11 prostitutes across Europe and the US. Add to that the fact that there were a number of murders in the Cecil Hotel throughout the 20’s and 30’s and you’ve got a text book paranormal case.

Elisa Lam - Strange Mystery Case - Cecil Hotel Body - Unterweger and ramirez

I don’t like to poo poo matters straight off the bat, but there’s no such things as ghosts. So it can’t be that. If you want to hear some of the Illuminati conspiracy theories click here:


So what happened? The police currently class the death as “accidental”. The trail has gone cold, I’m sure the police may still be investigating, but nothing else has been released since July really. Unless you count the paranormal crew. And me. You can still access Elisa Lam’s personal blog here. She’s pretty frank about suffering with bipolar disorder, the drugs she’s taking and her daily gripes. She has a fairly acerbic, gallows humour approach to life. She writes about telling a boy she loved him whilst in San Diego and telling her family she was going to visit an organic farm. All normal, non-mental things to talk about.

A little while before she disappeared she lost her mobile phone, who knows if that has anything to do with it all though. People lose those things all the time.

Perhaps the worst bit about the story is that the people in the hotel had been drinking water that had been around her dead body for two weeks. That really is grim isn’t it?

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