If you’ve been browsing through Netflix recently, you would’ve probably come across this documentary on your list of ‘Top 10 In Singapore Today’. But if you’ve no idea what it is, we’re talking about the latest doc-series, ‘Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel‘. Now if that rings a bell, you may have heard about the vanishing of Elisa Lam back in 2013. The news of her disappearance spread like wildfire around the world and many of us were puzzled about the cause of her death. It also ignited a media frenzy and mobilised a global community of internet sleuths who were eager to uncover the case.
The back story is: Cecil Hotel has been known to have its own nefarious past. What once started out as a luxurious hotel has turned into a notorious establishment – widely associated with murder, suicide, drugs, rape and more. In fact, for nearly a century, the Cecil Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles has been linked to some of the city’s most notorious activity. But what attracted the attention of many was Elisa Lam’s case.
In 2013, the 21-year-old Elisa Lam travelled from Vancouver down the coast, ending up at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles early that year. As of January 31st, she disappeared, and her case became an obsession for thousands of people online. Everything was then amplified when a suspicious elevator tape of Elisa’s seemingly bizarre behaviour was released online by the LAPD — of which it later became the last footage of Elisa alive.
The show, directed by Joe Berlinger, is the first season in a new documentary series that deconstructs the mythology and mystery surrounding infamous locations in contemporary crime. It also features former Cecil Hotel manager, Amy Price, who plays one of the key characters in the show, where she explains her time working at Cecil Hotel and the incidents that followed. Ahead, we recount more about the series from Joe Berlinger and the experiences Amy Price had at the Cecil Hotel.