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What Happened to Elisa Lam at the Cecil Hotel? Here Are 4 Main Theories

What Happened to Elisa Lam at the Cecil Hotel? Here Are 4 Main Theories

On Feb. 19, 2013, a worker at Los Angeles’ Cecil Hotel made a gruesome discovery in the building’s main water tank: the body of the formerly missing 21-year-old Canadian student Elisa Lam. Guests had complained about the hotel’s water — that it looked and tasted funny and that its pressure was low. By the end of January that year, Lam was officially missing. A week before the hotel found her, the LAPD released bizarre security footage of Lam that immediately went viral. Another addition to Netflix’s true-crime library, Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel revisits Elisa Lam’s strange case to give us a clearer picture of the context around her death. Throughout four episodes, we witness journalists, detectives, historians, and other experts dive into what the internet has considered an unsolved mystery.

Lam’s prolific presence on her Tumblr, coupled with the chilling video and the Cecil Hotel’s dark history of murders and suicides, drew in web sleuths from all over. The Los Angeles coroner’s office issued the ruling that her death was accidental due to drowning. However, there has been a flurry of speculation surrounding her death that continues drawing people to her case. What happened to Lam? Here are the main theories that Crime Scene unpacks.

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