Netflix to release series on mysterious death of student at LA hotel

Jan 15 2021, 12:47 pm

Netflix has shared the details of an upcoming documentary surrounding the disappearance of Elisa Lam, a 21-year-old student in Vancouver who disappeared in 2013.

Lam, a psychology student at the University of British Columbia (UBC), arrived in Los Angeles on January 26, 2013. She was reported missing after her family lost contact with her and the Los Angeles Police Department says they last saw her on January 31, 2013.

elisa lam

21-year-old Elisa Lam was last seen on January 31, 2013 (LAPD).

“Her reason for travelling in the state was unclear,” reads a statement from the LAPD. “But her final destination was apparently in Santa Cruz, California.”

At the time, police said she was last seen at the Cecil Hotel on Main Street in downtown Los Angeles. Less than three weeks later, her body was found inside a water tank on the rooftop of the hotel.

Police initially suspected foul play, but the coroner ruled the death as “accidental due to drowning” and said no traces of drugs or alcohol were found during the autopsy. The coroner’s report noted that her bipolar disorder was one of the factors in the incident.

The Netflix documentary, titled Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, is directed by Joe Berlinger, who also directed Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes. Netflix says it will be the first season of a new series that “deconstructs the mythology and mystery surrounding infamous locations in contemporary crime.”

“For nearly a century, the Cecil Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles has been linked to some of the city’s most notorious activity, from untimely deaths to housing serial killers,” reads a statement from Netflix.

“In 2013, college student Elisa Lam was staying at the Cecil when she vanished, igniting a media frenzy and mobilizing a global community of internet sleuths eager to solve the case.”

The series is set to make its premiere on February 10, 2021.

Vincent PlanaVincent Plana

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