Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel

Renae Howell, Reporter

The Cecil Hotel is a budget hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, California that opened December 20th, 1924. The Hotel was renamed, ‘Stay On Main’ in order to try and distance the establishment from its dark past. The 19-floor hotel has 700 guest rooms. The hotel has a mixed history, with many suicides and deaths occurring there. The hotel is located in the square of poverty and homelessness called Skid Row. As of 2017, it was being renovated and redeveloped into a mix of hotel rooms and residential units. The hotel will be open again for business in October 2021. 

The once-grand Cecil Hotel provides a nightmarish backdrop for the disappearance of Elisa Lam. Her final footage in an elevator triggers a virtual hunt. Elisa Lam was originally from Canada, and she attended the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She was visiting the US in order to explore and meet new people for an adventure. At the time, she was struggling with bipolar disorder and had been taking four medications prescribed to her.

Elisa Lam lived on the internet, she posted on Tumblr a lot and took people along with her on her journey. She traveled alone on Amtrak buses. She visited the San Diego Zoo and posted all about it. She arrives in Los Angeles on January 6th. She was assigned a shared room, and her roommates complained about her stating odd behavior and she switched rooms. She disappears.

This documentary is 4 episodes long, and the episodes are about an hour each. If you are up for a binge I recommend this series. This series is a mix of suspense, mystery, and wonder. If the names of the episodes don’t trigger your wonder, I don’t know what will. “Lost in Los Angeles, Secrets of the Cecil, Down the Rabbit Hole, and The Hard Truth”

The Vanishing has you wondering where she could’ve gone, why she disappeared, and who done it. In the show, they provide the last seen footage of Elisa Lam. Lam contacted her parents in British Columbia every day while traveling. On February 1, 2013, the day she was scheduled to check out of the Cecil and leave for Santa Cruz. Her parents did not hear from her and called the Los Angeles Police Department. Her family flew to Los Angeles to help with the search. 

I find this series very interesting and shocking. I do recommend watching, ‘The Vanishing At The Cecil Hotel.’ It doesn’t get uninteresting after a while, it keeps you in the now. If you like crime investigations or any mysteries, this show is for you.