Several guests staying at the Cecil Hotel near Skid Row, downtown Los Angeles complained to management of low water pressure. Employees were sent to investigate, and to their horror, the cause of the blockage was a naked human female body stuck in the hotel’s water tower!
The body was identified as Elisa Lam, a 21-year-old Canadian tourist, who had been missing for two weeks. On examining security footage, investigators were baffled by what they saw. Elisa Lam looked disillusioned and confused as she entered an elevator several minutes before her tragic death, pressing all the buttons, walking in and out of the elevator and moving her arms and legs in a peculiar way.
Security footage of Elisa Lam, minutes before her death.
Even more shocking, was that the cause of her death was ruled as accidental by the coroner. There were no traces of drugs or alcohol in her system nor were there any signs of blunt force trauma or sexual assault.The death was classified as an “accidental drowning”.
Before we take a look at the strange occurrences that took place before her death, let’s take a look at the history of the Cecil Hotel.
The Cecil Hotel
The Cecil Hotel has a hauntingly dark past. It was home to the infamous serial killer and rapist Richard Ramirez, more popular known in the media as “The NightStalker”, who stayed at the hotel for several months in 1985. Another serial killer, Jack Unterweger, killed three prostitutes while he stayed at the Cecil. Police believe that it was a homage to Richard Ramirez.
In the 50’s and the 60’s, the Cecil was known as the place where people would go to commit suicide, by jumping out from windows on upper floors. In one such case, Pauline Otton, 27, jumped from a ninth floor window only to land on George Gianinni, 65, both were killed instantly.
“Pigeon Goldie” Osgood, a retired telephone operator, was found dead in her room on June 4, 1964. Osgood was known for protecting and feeding the pigeons at nearby Pershing Square, was stabbed, strangled and raped. The killer has never been identified.
Mysterious foot. In the video above, at the time marker 2:29 just as Elisa moves out from the camera’s view, another object of what appears to be another person’s foot also goes out of view. Here is a short GIF of that timeline (It may take some time to load)
Water Tower. The water tower on top of the hotel is 15-feet high and surrounded by an alarm system. She would have had to pass two locked doors and the alarm system. The doors were found to be locked and the alarm system did not go off. The opening was too small for any of the firefighters and police on scene to enter and the opening had to be sawed open to remove her body. How could a petite 21-year-old enter the water tower and shut the opening in which she came in ?
The elevator. Why does the elevator remain open for such a long time, it remains open almost the entire 4 minute duration of the security footage. Also do note, that the background is quite dark, however towards the end of the video when the elevator door opens, the background is bright red, it is quite possible that Elisa probably turned on a light.
Her clothes. Her clothes were never found, it could have been sucked down but it would have definitely lodged itself somewhere in the buildings plumbing system that would have caused another blockage. But no other blockage was ever reported.
Strange Behavior. Her behavior during her last moments are particularly strange, unusual body movements of the hands and legs and general movements. She appears to be hiding from something or someone. Below are a few screenshots from the security footage.
Similarity. Her death is eerily familiar to the 2005 movie “Dark Water” and also the episode “Law & Order Special Victims Unit: Dominance” where in both stories, bodies were found in water tanks after reports of water blockages.
We may never know what happened to this young lady who had her entire life ahead of her, hopefully her soul is at rest. May she rest in peace.