Netflix’s newest documentary, Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, released on Wednesday. The chilling series investigates the mysterious disappearance and death of Elisa Lam.
Lam, who was 21 years old when she disappeared, was a psychology student at the University of British Columbia.
She arrived in Los Angeles on January 26, 2013, and was reported missing after her family lost contact with her. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) says that she was last seen on January 31, 2013.
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The series offers a glimpse into the Cecil Hotel’s unsettling history as well as some of the details of the inexplicable occurrence of Lam’s disappearance.
“The last footage that we have of her was inside the elevator,” a man in the Netflix trailer explains. “That’s where the case starts to go askew.”
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 this is the first season of a new series that “deconstructs the mythology and mystery surrounding infamous locations in contemporary crime.” There are four episodes in the series.