What Happened to Elisa Lam? Theories


On February 19, 2013, an employee of the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles made a gruesome discovery in the building’s main water tank: the body of the formerly missing 21-year-old Canadian student Elisa Lam. Guests had complained about the hotel’s water – that it looked and tasted fun, and that its pressure was low. In late January this year, Lam was officially missing. A week before the hotel found her, the LAPD released bizarre security footage from Lam, which immediately went viral. Another addition to Netflix’s True Crime Library: Crime scene: The disappearance at the Cecil Hotel revisits Elisa Lam’s strange case to give us a clearer picture of the context around her death. In four episodes, journalists, detectives, historians and other experts delve into what the Internet has viewed as an unsolved mystery.

Lam’s prolific presence on her Tumblr, coupled with the terrifying video and dark story of murders and suicides at the Cecil Hotel, attracted web experts from around the world. The Los Angeles Coroner’s Office ruled that her drowning death was accidental. However, there has been a number of speculations surrounding her death that continue to draw people’s attention to her case. What happened to lam? Here are the main theories that crime scene unpacks.



Robert Dunfee