Netflix’s latest true-crime series, Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, releases on 10 February. The documentary is about “Hotel Death”, a nickname for the notorious Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles.
This hotel in downtown LA has become infamous for its dark history, including the mysterious 2013 death of student Elisa Lam.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:
‘HOTEL DEATH’ DIRECTOR
The crime series is directed and produced by Joe Berlinger, the director behind Netflix’s hit crime series Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes.
“As a true crime documentarian, I was fascinated in 2013 when the elevator video of Elisa Lam went viral and legions of amateur detectives used the internet to try to solve the mystery of what happened to her, a 21-year-old Canadian tourist on her first trip to Los Angeles,” Berlinger told Marie Claire.
‘IS THERE A ROOM HERE THAT MAYBE SOMEBODY HASN’T DIED IN?’
This is one of the chilling opening lines of the Netflix trailer. The Cecil Hotel is nicknamed “Hotel Death” because of its past history of housing a pair of serial killers and it being the location of various untimely deaths.
The documentary investigates the case of Elisa Lam, who had travelled alone from Canada and simply vanished while staying at “Hotel Death”.
‘HOTEL DEATH’: THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELISA LAM
Lam was staying at the Cecil Hotel when she disappeared into thin air, leaving behind all her possessions. A few weeks later, her body was found in the hotel’s water tank after guests complained of black-tinted water and low pressure in the bathrooms.
CCTV footage of Lam went viral and racked up millions of views. The video shows Lam behaving oddly in the hotel’s elevator. This led to conspiracy theories of the hotel being haunted, alien abduction and human trafficking.
Watch the Elisa Lam elevator video here:
The conspiracy theories and facts of the case do not seem to add up. The story is spread out over the episodes and each one focuses on a different element. The final episode ties everything together.
“Hotel Death” is not the best drawcard in terms of marketing. The hotel was shut down in 2016 for a facelift costing about $100m and is yet to reopen to the public.