The victim of a cursed hotel or his own madness: the mysterious disappearance and death of Eliza LamPictolic
The case of the death of Eliza Lamb has gained a wide public response and has become one of the most famous mysteries of our time. We are looking into who the deceased was, how she ended up on the roof of the hotel, where her body was found, and, most importantly, what could have caused the girl's death.
In February 2013, Los Angeles was shocked by the terrible news — the body of a girl was found on the roof of one of the hotels, which was in a water tank intended for servicing the complex.
Her corpse was naked, and her personal belongings were floating next to her. Weeks of investigation, frightening video recordings and the absence of any significant evidence — this case has become one of the strangest and most mysterious in the modern criminal history of America, and concerned citizens are still trying to understand what really happened to the unfortunate girl.
Eliza Lam, the daughter of immigrants from Hong Kong who moved to Canada, was an ordinary student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Little is known about the girl's life before the incident — according to the testimonies of her parents and friends, Eliza was a kind and sympathetic person, she loved to study, and her special passion was traveling. Lam preferred to explore the world alone, regularly visiting different cities and countries.
The only thing that overshadowed the girl's life was a mental illness - as it became known later, Lam suffered from bipolar disorder and had to take medications to avoid worsening her condition. In 2010, Eliza even started her own personal blog, in which she shared with subscribers the details of her personal life and how she was struggling with the disease, and two years later, shortly before her disappearance, she said that she had a relapse, and she was not feeling the best.
However, soon Lam hastened to assure her Internet friends that everything was fine with her, and as a confirmation, she somewhat changed the style of her blog — the girl began to publish more stories about her travels, as well as pictures from glossy publications that she liked.
The Cecil Hotel where Eliza is staying
In January 2013, 21-year-old Eliza decided to go on another trip. Her route lay through San Diego and Los Angeles, and after that she planned to visit the city of Santa Cruz, which she warned her parents about. In recent posts on her blog, Lam shared pictures from the zoo in San Diego with subscribers, and then, on January 28, she announced that she had settled in the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles.
Then the story of Eliza is known from the words of witnesses and eyewitnesses — after checking into the hotel, the girl did not publish new posts and did not communicate with her parents. It is known that at first Lam lived in a room for several people, which was located on the fifth floor of the hotel, but soon she was moved to a separate room, because her neighbors complained about the "strange behavior" of the girl.
On January 31, Eliza was supposed to contact her parents, but they did not wait for their daughter's call, after which they decided to report her disappearance to the city police and come to Los Angeles themselves. From that day, an active search for Lam began, which, however, did not give any result.
The policemen interviewed the hotel staff, the former neighbors of the missing girl, employees of neighboring shops and cafes, but no one could give any worthwhile information about her whereabouts. The only person who had spoken to Eliza in the days before her disappearance was an employee of the souvenir shop, Kathy Orfen, who worked on the day when Lam bought souvenirs.
Nevertheless, Orfen's story did not help the investigation in any way — the police continued to comb the streets, put up leaflets with photos of the disappeared girl, interview witnesses, but the case did not move from a dead point until February 14.
On this day, the police published in There is a video of Eliza trying to get into the elevator at the hotel. This strange video instantly spread on the Internet and attracted the attention of the general public — it's all about the strange behavior of the girl. The recording shows that Lam enters the elevator and presses the button, but the doors do not close. After that, she hurriedly runs out of the cab and starts looking around — Elisa was clearly mortally scared.
Then the girl made several more unsuccessful attempts to leave by elevator, which were accompanied by active gestures, waving her hands and an obviously panicked state, after which she got out, went back into the cabin, the doors of which finally closed, and left. The recording was carefully studied not only by police detectives, but also by media representatives, netizens and even psychics. There were no other people in the frame, but the girl's behavior clearly indicated that she was afraid of something.
Different versions were put forward. Psychics and mediums claimed that the tourist was faced with some kind of paranormal phenomenon that had been haunting her since she checked into the Cecil Hotel, and, by the way, this version has gained great popularity. The fact is that the hotel that Eliza chose did not have the best reputation — at various times mysterious incidents occurred within its walls, even the most inveterate skeptics could not find an explanation for them.
For example, in 1976, a man named Jeffrey Thomas Paley shot passers-by from the roof of a hotel, in the 1930s more than eight people committed suicide within the walls of Cecil, in 1944 a woman threw her newborn child out of the hotel window, in 1962 a girl named Pauline jumped from the roof of the hotel and fell on a random passerby, two years later a woman known as "Goldie the Dove" was killed and raped in one of the rooms, and in The network several times appeared video clips from the hotel, which depicted transparent figures resembling ghosts.
In addition, several other crimes were also indirectly connected with this hotel — for example, serial killers Jack Unterweger and Richard Ramirez liked to stay at Cecil, and Elizabeth Short, whose disfigured body was found in January 1947 on a vacant lot in Los Angeles, was last seen alive in this hotel.
However, the police did not believe in the intervention of evil spirits and mysticism, and therefore put forward their own version — Eliza's strange behavior on the video is explained by the fact that she had an exacerbation of the disease, and she just saw hallucinations.
The roof of the Cecil Hotel on the day of the discovery of the body of Eliza Lam
In parallel with the search for Eliza, hotel guests began to complain that the color and smell of the water in the rooms and cafes at the hotel had changed, and the pressure was very weak — a dark liquid barely flowed from the taps, smelling of rot and dampness. After several complaints, the management of Cecil decided to inspect the roof of the building, on which there was a water tank for the hotel with a volume of 3785 liters.
Having climbed to the roof on the morning of February 19, the staff opened the water tank, and, to their own horror and surprise, found the body of the missing Eliza Lam there. The corpse was completely naked, and the clothes (in which the girl was recorded from the elevator) and personal belongings, including the keys to her hotel room and a wristwatch, were floating nearby. According to the coroner's report, the body had been in the tank for at least twenty days.
On February 21, the police announced the results of the examination — according to it, Eliza's death occurred as a result of accidental drowning, which could have occurred due to an exacerbation of her illness. Doctors did not find any injuries or traces of violence on the victim's body, and there were no prohibited substances or other psychotropic drugs in her blood (however, these facts were disputed several times, since at the time of the discovery of the corpse, a reliable examination was impossible due to the degree of decomposition, and some features indirectly indicated that the victim was raped before death).
After the publication of the data, the case was officially terminated, but the public was not satisfied with this decision. Several questions remained open at once. First, how did the Lem get on the roof — a pass and a password are required to enter the territory where the tanks were located, otherwise an alarm system would have been triggered throughout the building. Second — even if Eliza climbed to the roof of the Cecil Hotel by the fire escape (which is theoretically possible), how did she get into the cistern on her own?
The fact is that the water tanks measuring 1.2 by 2.4 meters were located on concrete blocks, and it was possible to climb to them only by putting a portable ladder, but nothing like this was found on the roof. Moreover, the heavy lid of the tank, which is usually moved by several employees at once, was closed at the time of the discovery of the body — it would be extremely difficult to move such a heavy object alone, while being inside.
In addition, neither on the roof nor in the room where Lam lived was her mobile phone found, which indirectly indicates that someone was near her at the time of death and took the cell phone with him.
A shot from the film "Dark Waters" (2002, Japan)
Despite all the theories put forward, the police did not consider it necessary to reopen the mysterious case, and the death of Eliza Lam is still officially considered an accident. However, many concerned citizens, private detectives and journalists are still trying to restore the last hours of the girl's life bit by bit and understand what really happened on that fateful day, and how the tourist died, and screenwriters are actively using her story to create frightening plots of films and TV series.