Friday, 20 March 2015

The Cecil hotel:

(Post has been recently updated) 
Have you heard of the Cecil hotel?

Built in the 1920’s, it’s a budget hotel with 600 rooms and grim, dark past.

You may know it as Richard Ramirez’ old haunt back in ’85.
Ramirez used to pay $14 per night and stayed on floor 14 for several months, and reportedly killed in the local area during his stay there.

Maybe you heard the rumor about Elizabeth short, the Black Dahlia, hanging out in the hotel bar before her disappearance and subsequent murder?

Maybe it’s Austrian serial killer Jack underweger’s stay at the Cecil in ’91 that rings a bell? Paying prostitutes $30 to climb up the fire escape where he welcomed them to his room before assaulting and murdering them, often times strangling them with their own bra’s.
Amazingly, Underweger was a crime journalist, who was actually paying homage to Ramirez.

But most likely, you’ve heard of this hotel since the story of the death of 21 year old Canadian tourist Elisa Lam went viral.

On February 2013, in true horror movie style, eerily reminiscent of the Japanese movie “Dark Water”, Lam was found dead at the bottom of one of the hotels water tanks, located on the roof, with no explanation of how she could have even gotten in there in the first place.

(Update: A reddit user named rockdrigoma pointed out in a discussion on the subject that from this google maps view, we can clearly see a security rail behind the water tanks. Although it was discussed that there surely would be an alarm system connected to the "staff only" door that lead to the roof, another reddit user in a different thread claimed to have stayed there and accessed the roof with his brother to take photos, and there was no alarm) 

In another post in Reddit Unresolved mysteries, a redditor who was a close friend of Elisa Lam gave this insight: 

"I don't know exactly what kind of mental problems she had, but I and her close friends know that she had some strange episodes before ( and she has disappeared before too). However,her family was always reluctant to talk about her problems like in this case when they refused to release any information regarding her mental problems. Once we found out that she was going though some therapy for 3 weeks and she has regular depressions. I didn't talk to her for a year so I didn't know why she was going to LA. I suspect it is connected to schizophrenia or some mental problems rather than recreation drug use. She was traveling alone and it is suspicious too..."

Maintenance workers found the body 19 days after the death, after guests of the hotel complained about low water pressure; and the disgusting and discolored tasting water, which was probably made sense after they saw the news reports.

It was noted that she was bipolar, and was said that they found no trace of recreational drugs or alcohol in her system. She, reportedly, had not been assaulted in any way and the report ruled it an accidental death, possibly linked to Lam's mental health issues and being in a manic / mixed state.

Elisa regularly updated her Tumblr blog up until her death, and posted updates about her life and mental health in the "life" tag of her journal. 

The hotel CCTV footage recording of the last time she was seen alive in the hotels elevator showed the Canadian tourist pushing all of the buttons, seeming paranoid and jumping in and out of the lift. Some people link the behavior to that of an episode attributed to her mental health. 

The customers of the Cecil inevitably sued, and the hotel has since re-branded itself as “Stay on Main”

So if you’re looking for a cheap place to stay in downtown LA, maybe don’t stay on main.

1 comment:

  1. That is a scary tale but, I do find that kind of thing fascinating even if it is on the evil side. I have a sister in law who goes from ghost hotel to another. She gets a kick out of the ghost haunts and I can see why as it is somewhat entertaining. I just would have nightmares always.

    Marci Deegan @ Twin Pine