One of the greatest recent mysteries in the United States has become the subject of Netflix’s newest documentary series. This time, the streaming wants to make Elisa Lam known and try to find out what really happened to her.
According to the British broadcaster BBC, Elisa Lam was a 21 year old Canadian student when she disappeared in 2013 at the Hotel Cecil, in Los Angeles, while traveling around the United States.
A video of Elisa, shot in the hotel elevator before the young woman disappeared, went viral when it was released by local police during the investigation. In the video, you can see that the elevator doors did not close and that Elisa seemed to be talking to someone out of sight of the camera. It was the last time she was seen.
Elisa’s body was found in a water tank on the roof of the hotel 19 days after it disappeared.
There are several conspiracy theories about Elisa Lam’s disappearance. Some people believe that the video is a testament to supernatural activity – and that was one of the reasons that led the director Joe Berlinger wanting to create the documentary series.
“This story has already been told, but I think it has been done in a very irresponsible in the past, ”said Joe Berlinger, in an interview with Radio 1 Newsbeat. “For the average spectator, it is more of an attractive story that one watches and then moves on to the next. But for whom this happened, it’s the worst time of your life. It is a real tragedy for the person and for that family ”.
The circumstantial evidence in the Elisa Lam case is compelling. The video, the similarities to the plot of the horror film “Dark Water” and even suggested links to a tuberculosis test called Lam-Elisa are part of what motivated the conspiracy theories and ghost stories that are still popular today.
“Of course we need to talk about the ghost stories and contextualize them, ”said Berlinger. “It’s not like you could avoid it, because that’s a big part of the story.”
The ghost stories were, in part, motivated by the discoveries of “Internet detectives” who were working to bring together Elisa’s final moments together with the Los Angeles police department.
“If you look at the other narratives in the story, you will see that she is the victim of some horrible and evil presence that has taken over her. These kinds of narratives are incredibly disrespectful and probably because the family just didn’t want to deal with another show that would exaggerate the circumstances of the tragedy ”.
Elisa’s family does not appear in the documentaryexcept on archival footage, but they knew that Berlinger was going to retell the story. “I think they just wanted to move on,” dialysis.
The Los Angeles police, the coroner and the manager of Hotel Cecil at the time speak for the first time in this documentary about what happened.
The Cecil Hotel
Hotel Cecil was not a typical hotel. Situated in the heart of Los Angeles, which has a major homeless problem, some floors were for visitors like Elisa, while others were short or long-term accommodation for people who lived in this “run-down” area.
After Elisa’s disappearance, fingers were pointed at residents and hotel staff, which the manager, Amy Price, says to be “stressful and painful”. “From the beginning, when Elisa disappeared, I had a bad feeling. I was traveling alone and I really thought I should have gotten involved with the wrong audience and that wouldn’t be difficult to do in downtown Los Angeles. ”
Before Elisa’s death, the hotel already had a bad reputation. It was a place with a history of suicides, overdoses and a place where several high-profile serial killers had been staying.
“There is a lot of darkness that people like to revisit, like Richard Ramirez, Jack Unterweger and, of course, Elisa Lam, but I mean, it wasn’t horrible to work there,” said Price. “We had a great team, we ran a business and I liked that.”
Berlinger is as committed to telling the story of people as Amy as it is to Elisa. “There are real human beings behind folklore. “Esras were people who were doing the best they could, with limited resources, to run a hotel in the best possible way in a poor neighborhood.”
Amy left the hotel business and now works as a jewelry designer – and is also writing a book about her own experiences at Hotel Cecil.
Maria Campos, ZAP //