Pin It

The Elisa Lam Case – What are they Hiding?

Elisa Lam

The case of Elisa Lam has, over the past month or so, become quite infamous. Elisa Lam attended the same University as I do, so the case caught my attention and I found myself contemplating her death and analyzing released footage. Before I go over my findings and musings, I’ll give you a quick background on what happened:

Elisa Lam goes on a mysterious voyage, alone, to southern California. She then stays in a dodgy LA hotel – this hotel is notorious for housing serial killers. What happens next is both disturbing and mind-boggling. As the video footage of her last known sighting below shows, she starts behaving erratic, and then goes missing. Police search the entire hotel and the neighboring area for her, but are unable to find her. Then, after a while, residents of the hotel start complaining about low water pressure in their showers. The hotel staff decides to take a look at the water tank on the roof, and finds the naked body of Elisa Lam at the bottom of the tank! This tank is not easily accessible – getting yourself, let alone another body, into it is an amazing feat. What makes it even more perplexing is that the roof area is under tight security and surveillance.

Cecil Hotel Water Tank

To get the body out, firefighters had to cut a hole in the tank. They put a makeshift roof over the hole so that the media could not see the body.


Pages: 1 2 3

  • Alice

    I want to know so much what happened to her :(

    • Muser

      Yea, it really bugs me :( She went to the same school as me, and I was looking through her blog and it turns out she was very depressed.

      Here was her blog:

      And her tumblr:

      • Dave

        She also appeared to be showing signs of serious manic and depressive episodes (bordering on psychosis), based on the things she wrote in her blog. Which fits with the theory I put forward in my other post. Although it’s hard to know how much can really be believed or assessed from a blog, especially when some of the info is a little cryptic.

        But if she was giving factual info about her life, she clearly had acute depression issues punctuated with mania (she claimed hypomania) that seemed to be increasing over the last year or two. She was also travelling frequently, staying in hostels, and was generally taking risks and behaving in ways that were socially bizarre by pretty much everyone’s standards.

        I think her being uprooted and running around foreign countries by herself while in such states could have led to this : ( Either by circumstance, some medication switch/discontinuation, or the use of some drug while in one of these states could pretty easily explain her going into a psychosis. Just my opinion.

        • Muser

          I agree. I think her behavior is consistent with hypomania.
          I remember someone close to me whose daughter had bipolar disorder. She had went on a trip to a country in Europe. She then had a manic episode, and went on a trip around the continent, acting rather riskily and out of character. It was an unbelievable story. Eventually she became medicated, and is perfectly normal now. Elisa’s case reminds me strongly of this story.

      • George Stone

        FYI, at approximately 1:07 in the sped up video you can see her naturally do that pivot action with he feet.

  • Jeffrey

    You need to take a class on logical deduction:

    1) Elisa Lam goes on a mysterious voyage, alone, to southern California. – This is an incorrect assessment. Before anything, you need to know the subject at hand. Since the subject is deceased, the next best way is to study her blogs. She had a FB, Twitter, Tumbler, etc… HK blog. Those are oceans of information to study the subject.

    Elisa Lam suffered with some form of classical bipolar disorder + manic depression. She had been living in her room for 3 years, unable to motivate herself to finish college or keep a job. She constantly felt what most people in her situation felt, wasting her life, losing time. Immediately upon medication, she quit her HK blog, leaving the note “I will keep this blog as a reminder of who I WAS.”

    Since then, she had gotten a part time job and was planning to return to university to finish her degree. She was planning on re-enrolling at UBC in the Fall of 2013. Because she felt she missed out on most part of her life, she had dedicated her life before enrollment to travel and “make up” for those loss. She had been to Toronto and planned for Europe, which was replaced with a Cali trip. She had originally planned on ending up in Santa Cruz, to get a part time job and attend adult classes at UCSC ’til her return to Canada.

    2) She then stays in a dodgy LA hotel – this hotel is notorious for housing serial killers – This part is a bit puzzling. But again, not that puzzling. Study of her blogs revealed she was an art buff. She has a taste of these kind of retro European style of designs. She probably picked this hotel for that very reason. Whether she knew how dodgy this area is, is unknown.

    3) This tank is not easily accessible – getting yourself, let alone another body, into it is an amazing feat. – This is also an incorrect assessment. there are various ways of reaching the roof besides the reported “locked door.” The most possible way is via the fire-escape, which has been documented on several news. Yes, granted this way would make it hard for someone to carry a body up there via the fire-escape. If she was murdered and then carried to the roof, this would suggest the most likely approach would be through the door, which would narrow the suspect down to the staff. There are also plenty of photos taken by people who frequent the hotel that went up to the roof for beer and sight seeing.

    However, it is very unlikely she was killed, hidden, and then taken to the roof and stuffed in the water tank with the small opening. Why? Because people forget what happens when rigamortis kicks in. The body essentially becomes brittle stiff. It would be virtually impossible to shape her into the hole. (Remember Weekend at Bernie’s? Totally bad movie) Furthermore, access to the top of the water tank is far easier than most people claimed to be. Many people overlooked from the news photos that the tank she was dumped in, is right next to that building, which had a ladder on the other side. This would be the easiest way to get to that tank, climb the ladder to the roof and simply jump DOWN from there onto the top of the tank.

    Because of rigamortis issue, it is more plausible that she was either killed ON the rooftop and immediately placed in the tank or she was alone on top of that rooftop and accidentally fell in. Also, there were conflicting reports on whether she was naked or not. I only read 1 article which stated she was naked, all the others didn’t mention this at all. This would change a lot of things. If she was indeed naked, where were her clothes? If her clothes were NOT on the roof, this… changes a lot and would support she might’ve been killed elsewhere, then immediately brought up and dump in the tank. If her clothes were on the rooftop, it could suggest either she took them off (from either drug, mental breakdown, or hypothermia) or it could also suggest foul play.

    4) Were the police simply hiding sensitive case information? – The video is puzzling, but many people overlooked another fact. The video wasn’t released because of her death, the video was released because she was missing. So the motive on why the police released the video is in hope of identification and also to display her bizzare behavior. Editing the clip would be done by the police, obviously. If such obvious editing can be spotted by the layman, imagine what the forensic experts can see? Since part of why the clip was released was to show her strange behavior, then it would be logical for the police to cut the part where it was boring or show nothing, she probably stepped out during that time? We don’t know. The clip was also slowed down because again it was for identification, so want us to get a clearer look at the girl.

    5) “pull-away” theory – There are countless theories of people claiming this and that. Some saw a hand, some saw a foot. Some saw reflection of a murderer on the elevator side. All those are pretty pointless. Examine the whole video on the character of Elisa, many experts on body language will tell you the same. She was relaxed, not in fear, and very likely sexually aroused. Her behavior was indeed consistent of someone who is on some sort of party drug. Since we know she frequent clubs such as Speakeasy, this is not at all unlikely.

    6) Conclusion – Gathering from all the observations, blogs, news. The most likely conclusion was that she was under the influence of drug, whether willingly or not. There was probably a 2nd person involved, but very likely this was an accidental overdose. Why? Because look up her blog where she talked about her medication. She was heavily dosed with some serious drugs. Now, as some people don’t know, estacy is not simply one drug. There are many forms of drugs called estacy. It is because estacy is a mixture of various drugs, it is a party drug. On a person who was so heavily medicated + unknown mixture of party drugs = almost guaranteed overdose.

    Another possibility would be that she was under the influence of estacy, went up on the roof, hypothermia kicked in and she took off all her clothes and willingly jumped into the water tank. Though this one is less likely, to be honest.

    7) I thought you were joking about Totoro. If you haven’t heard, Totoro was written based on a true story called the Sayama Incident in Japan 1963. The incident involved the murder of 1 girl and the suicide of her older sister afterward. Google it, you’ll find indepth explanations.

    • Muser

      Please don’t assume that a blog post I wrote a few weeks ago reflects my current knowledge. Not many read this article so I’ve held off updating some of the more obvious things until after my final exams. However you raise interesting points and I appreciate your comment.

      1) I’ve done a little reading on both of her blogs as of late.

      2) That makes sense.

      3) Sorry, I meant not easily accessible with a body. Unless you know the exact locking mechanisms on the door, you can not say for sure whether only staff could access it. Any lock can be bypassed, you can’t assume it would reduce the suspect to staff only in regards to normal door entry. I did not think she was killed and then brought up there either (if she was indeed killed).

      4) You can’t assume that motive. You can’t assume the police edited it. Your reasoning here is sound, however until it’s proven, everything is speculation.

      5)Yes there are many stupid theories. However in this case it is almost obvious. Grab a friend and try it out, the movements will line up correctly.

      If she was going through an intense manic phase, her sexual arousal could also be explained by that I suppose. Whether or not she was in fear has no bearing on whether or not a man pulled her.

      6)Do you know the specific medication she was taking? I suppose I will look for it another time. The typical medication for bipolar disorder should not have any effect. However I have no clue what/if she was taking for her manic depression. Are you sure the manic depression you are referring to is not just the low phase of bipolar?

      7) I’ve read a lot about the Sayama Incident. However, the inspiration of a movie does not define its merit. Most will not and do not need to be bothered with the Sayama Incident. Totoro, when looked at as a movie individually, is very relaxing. However I must confess I was hoping someone would pick up on what you did. I would not call it a joke, so much as a provocation.

      I appreciate your response. I’m still reconsidering some of the things you’ve mentioned – this is one of the main reasons I wrote this (so that I could get more opinions and reconsider my assessments). Thank you for your time.

      • Jeffrey

        Wow so easily offended. You are a child?

        For someone who has virtually no commentaries from other people on their page, thought you might be more appreciative of someone even bothering to write to you. Perhaps your insecure rudeness is the reason people don’t bother writing anything.

        Carry on then, I’ll just be part of the status quo and ignore you. LOL.

        • Jeffrey

          For the record, I’m a retired professor on humanities, psychology, and sociology. Received my PHD from Syracuse in ’65 and taught from Harvard to Beijing. That’s why I suggested you take a course on logical deduction, because I use to teach it. That is also why I’ve been following this case closely, part of my hobby to keep my skills sharpened. You seemed very interested to know more about what happened, thought you might appreciate a more professional view.

          Good job trying to lecture me, child. Learn some manners.

          • Muser

            You didn’t have to tell me what you are – your ego gives it away. I wholly appreciated your view, as I said it’s made me reconsider and even reform some of my points. Indeed it was very professional and it was obvious that it did not come from a layman. I’m surprised that you’re offended, for I was not. Please remember that you insulted my ability to logically deduce, without providing any reasons. It was rude and not befitting of your wonderful comment. Even worst, you call me offended then proceed to tell me to carry on and ignore me. The honorable thing to do would be to explain yourself sir.

            Insecurity? Nope. In fact, if you told me why I need classes on logical deduction, I might be inclined to agree with you. I have many flaws, however being blunt with those I’m speaking to is not one of them. I would appreciate the same. I’m not going to just take your word because of who you are, It seems you’re offended that I did not. You’re not a king.

            You’re not the first to write a lengthy comment; others have sent me lengthy e-mails. This has no bearing on my appreciation of your comment. I value your comment highly, whether or not there are many before it.

            It’s amusing that you would call me child. You’re just feeding your own ego aren’t you? As well as placing yourself on a pedestal and reaffirming your authority based on experience and age alone. Being called a child does not offend me.

            Let’s take a look at what happened. You came to my page, and suggested I needed logical deduction classes. I considered your suggestion, but based on your comment, rejected it completely and bluntly, albeit slightly rudely. My apologies if I came off as rude, however I thought the rest of my comment got the point across that I appreciated your comment.

            Your mature response would have been to think about why I said what I said, as well as see that your comment was appreciated nonetheless. However, like a child, you immediately jump on the attack, as well as ignore all else that I said. “Such insolence! How dare this child talk to me in such a manner!” You then proceed to state your credentials as well as denounce me. You reaction was understandable, however immature. I expected you to be a person that could be spoken to bluntly without jumping into attack mode.

            My desire is not to start a feud, for I do respect your abilities. However it would be wise for you to take a step back, and look back in at yourself.

            My apologies if my language offends you. If you think I”m full of it, I’d appreciate to hear specific reasons. If you think I’m offended, I’d be interested in hearing why. You’re a psychology professor – it would be quite funny and interesting if you were able to convince me that I was actually offended. Sometimes it takes others to tell us more about ourselves.

            Thank you for your time.

          • Anon

            FYI, Just because you are older does not necessarily make you better than anyone else. Furthermore, it is a logical fallacy for you to state your credentials in that manner – this is known as appeal to authority. Having credentials doesn’t make your argument better by default.

            Muser was being extraordinarily polite and tolerant, and took a lot of time into writing a lengthy and appreciative response. You could stand to take a lesson from him, /professor/.

          • Muser

            “Appeal to authority”. This is what I was trying to remember when i was responding to him. Thanks :)

          • Peter Chow

            “For the record, I’m a retired professor on humanities, psychology, and sociology. Received my PHD from Syracuse in ’65 and taught from Harvard to Beijing.”
            When I read this, I’m more concerned with his students behaving like him in the future.

          • Muser

            That’s a frightening prospect haha

          • James Feng

            It would appear that you are the one that needs to learn manners. It’s a shame that despite all that education, you’re still a prick.

        • Lisa Pethybridge

          You’d think if his credentials were authentic he’d be able to recognize simple projection. Of course, it can be difficult to see yourself clearly. As an unbiased observer, it seems plain to me that there was more rudeness given and offense taken on his part.

          Furthermore, he doesn’t express himself like you would expect a man of letters to do, so I doubt the validity of those credentials or at least his worthiness of them. Just because one has completed a degree and teaches a subject doesn’t mean one is actually qualified, let alone wise. (Haven’t we all had at least one TERRIBLE professor who has to be corrected all the time?) I mean, if he was qualified, presumably he would have stayed at Harvard, yes? Perhaps he was an adjunct while a more capable colleague was on sabbatical? Notice he says he “taught”, not that he was a tenured professor. (Given his tendency to self-promote, he certainly would have done!) Sounds like a chronic adjunct to me. Not that there’s any shame in that. My father was an adjunct professor of law and government for a while, as a side gig. My favorite professor in college was a sort of itinerant adjunct for some years. No shame in that at all. Just saying that credentials do not indicate qualifications, let alone wisdom. Also that he may be telling the truth but not necessarily the whole truth and that says something about his character.

          I generally try to restrain myself from carrying on like this but this man needs to learn some humility and decency and the blog author deserves to be supported. There was nothing in this blog post that invited such conduct from respondents. Had the blog post been crass, disrespectful, haughty, perhaps then it could have been defensible to react with derision. However, this short, simple post contained no element that merited disrespect. Moreover, the response the author gave was a model of civility compared to Captain Psychology’s comment. I cannot abide people who behave with wanton aggression, as if they were rabid dogs.

    • K G

      Your theory about her possibly being killed on the roof is flawed. Her scent was not picked up by the dogs, meaning she was dead before the roof….. unless this was also a lie by the detectives….

    • Britney Westin


      You need to take a class in psychology and a basic spelling lesson before you try to act like an expert on all things Elisa Lam. Most importantly, before trying to act superior and condescending toward others, perhaps you should get your mess of a comment together. I don’t understand why you would be so rude to someone that you don’t know for no apparent reason. Clearly you have some psychological issues yourself.

      First, there is no such things as “classical bipolar disorder,” nor does the Diagnostical and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which is used in diagnosing mental illness, include any disorder called “manic depression.” The term was used many years ago to describe what is now called bipolar disorder. Therefore, it is impossible to have “classical bipolar disorder” and “manic depression” because they are the same thing.

      Second, you act as though you are a medical expert when you describe “rigamortis” (known to actual experts as “rigor mortis”). Rigor mortis usually sets in around 3 hours after death and dissipates after 72 hours, which means that the body could have been dumped/moved without stiffness in the three hours immediately following death or after 72 hours after death. Also, a person wouldn’t take their clothes off because of hypothermia, but they would if they had HYPERthermia.

      I believe you are also mistaken when you say that the surveillance video was released for identification purposes. The only reason the police were aware Elisa Lam was missing is because her parents contacted them when they hadn’t heard from her in a day.

      Last, I’m assuming when you type “estasy” repeatedly, you mean ecstasy.

      I’m not usually such a jerk. In fact, I have been reading blogs about Elisa Lam since she went missing and I haven’t left one comment. I am just attempting to make you understand how you might have made “Muser” feel with your rude reply. I was shocked because everyone on all of the websleuth forums and blogs who have been discussing Elisa’s case have been so respectful of other’s opinions.

      In my opinion, Elisa Lam was given some psychotropic medication that flipped her from a depressed episode to a hypomanic episode (I do agree that she suffers from Bipolar Disoder, quite possibly with psychotic features). I won’t get into the particular medications she was taking, but let’s just say that combination of drugs she was taking was likely to flip someone into a manic episode. During this hypomanic episode she experienced an increase in energy and excitedly planned this trip to California. The time away in a foreign country, by herself, in a seedy and dangerous area of town and the related stresses may have been enough for her mania to increase and for her to start experiencing psychotic symptoms (paranoia, delusions and/or hallucinations). It’s also possible that, feeling better on her trip, she decided to discontinue taking her medication and that caused her to become more manic and psychotic. We also need to keep in mind that she was in her early twenties, which is the prime time for psychotic illnesses, such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, to first start showing symptoms. It is often in the early twenties that someone who suffers from either of these disorders to have their first psychotic break.” Either way, I believe that her mental illness increased in severity during her trip: whether from the natural course of the illness, discontinuation of medication, or increase in stress. This is confirmed by the person who worked in the store across the street, who said she had been acting very strange and was “overly friendly” and strange toward the other customers. (I don’t recall where I read this).

      Her behavior at the store across the street (I believe it was a book store), shows that she was acting in a disinhibited manner, which is common with mania or a psychotic illness. I believe she may have began to feel disinhibited and then may have ingested street drugs that should would not normally have taken. I didn’t see anything in her blog that indicated that she was a drug user. It may have been something as common and benign as marijuana that she ingested as a result of her disinhibition. Marijuana can trigger a psychotic break in those who have an underlying psychotic disorder. Also, it is possible that in an attempt to self-medicate her symptoms, she ingested drugs, which increased her psychotic symptoms. I’m not saying for sure she ingested drugs, but I am 100% confident that her mental illness increased in severity during her trip and was one of the primary factors in what happened. If she had taken drugs, it would have only increased the severity of the mental health symptoms.

      The video, in my opinion, clearly shows someone suffering from psychotic symptoms. It appears to me that she may be dizzy and having trouble standing when she enters the elevator at one point and braces herself, which makes me think that she may have ingested some type of drug or even just had a little too much alcohol (certain psychotropic meds may also cause dizziness). She appears to be paranoid and her body language and movements appear to odd and related to mental illness, based on my history of treating individuals with mental illness. She also does some odd footwork when she steps out of the elevator, steps to the left side, and then back in the elevator. This seems to be an effect of mental illness–it wouldn’t make any sense for her to do this if she was talking to a friend, or trying to escape from someone–it just doesn’t make sense and that is why it seems to be due to mental illness.

      I’ll get to the point. I am certain that Elisa’s mental illness (and possibly the combination of drugs or alcohol) caused her to become extremely paranoid. She was running from something or someone that only she could see (or know about). She escapes to the roof and decides to hide in the water tank, not realizing that there was water in there and there would be no way out. Sadly, she drowns. Elisa may have gone to the roof because it was familiar to her–perhaps she had gone there before with others to smoke marijuana. This is a possibility, but I honestly don’t think she probably even spent much time with others on her trip. I think her behavior would have been too off.

      I do not believe she was naked when she was found, but if she was, I think she would have stripped because of a drug she ingested (most likely PCP, which caused people’s temperature to rise dramatically, and causes them to take off their clothes). I do not believe there was any foul play. If she did accidentally get stuck in the tank, investigator should have seen nail marks down the side and wearing down of her nails from her trying to claw her way out.

      We will all just have to wait and see what the toxicology report reveals. Unfortunately, I am afraid we might never get the answer about what really happened. Elisa’s poor family. I can’t imagine what they are going through.

      • Muser

        It’s amazing to see how much others have thought about this. You really thought about this a lot, and did your research. You’ve caused me to go on a researching spree. An update to this article is definitely overdue. Thanks for your time.

      • Elizabeth


        Just for information purposes: the elevator footage was released and broadcast on the local L.A. area news channels between the time that Elisa was reported missing and the time her body was discovered. Police were asking for information from anyone who may recognize her from the footage.

      • Guest

        i’m afraid you are wrong about hypothermia:

        “Hypothermia can kill at an amazing pace when cold temperatures and strong winds cause the body to lose heat quickly. Shivering starts first in order to produce body heat from the rapid muscular shaking. When the body’s temperature drops to or below 35 deg C/95 deg F, dizziness and disorientation kick in, then the shivering stops. The body now only maintains heat around the vital organs – brain, heart and lungs, and shuts down blood circulation to the arms and legs. Heart rate becomes slow, intermittent and weak, and the blood vessels widen. This makes a person feel hot and want to remove all their clothes before they finally slip into unconsciousness. Ultimately, the heart stops. Stories are told of climbers being found naked and dead up on a mountain, with their clothes folded neatly a short distance away. This is because the person becomes confused and hot. Their brain tries to bring order to the scary and unfamiliar situation, although this can be potentially lethal.”


        “Hypothermia can kill in only 30 minutes. Cold temperature, but also strong wind causes the body to rapidly lose heat. You start to shiver in order to maintain body heat from the rapid muscular shaking. If your body temperature drops to 35C/95F, you’ll get dizzy and disoriented. Then the shivering stops. The body now maintains
        temperature only around the important organs; heart, brain and lungs by shutting down blood circulation to the arms and legs. At 30C/86F, your pulse is weak and slow. Your blood vessels widen. Now,
        you feel hot and want to remove your clothes, finally slipping into
        unconsciousness. At 24C/75F your heartbeat stops. How fast you drop temperature will determine how rapidly you´ll parish. 30 minutes is more than enough!”


        just wanted to share…

        • James Feng

          Please re-read. she is 100% correct.

    • marcello geno

      There was NO DRUGS found in her system

      • Efra

        So they tell us. But are they telling the truth?

    • professor mister awesome

      Your entire argument is called into question- EVERYBODY knows Weekend At Bernie’s is a kick ass movie.

  • Linsanity

    No updates on her autopsy or how did she expired? I want to know what happened to dear Elisa Lam.

    • Muser

      If I recall correctly, the autopsy was inconclusive. We’re waiting for toxicology results at the moment – those should be more conclusive. It’s been a while, I’m not sure how long it will take to get those results.

  • Dave Dobni

    I, too, find the whole story and investigation very curious, and have made a hobby of studying it and trying to find some clue that would at least convince myself of an answer. Unfortunately, there just isn’t enough info to do so, and much of the info is unreliable. But something about Elisa and her case just connect with me, and I wish so badly that we could get some legit answers. I believe the toxicology results (which apparently were postponed another couple of weeks due to the fact that there are only one or two labs that do the kind of examinations necessary in this case, and their schedules are packed for obvious reasons (which is something that’s come up in past publicized cases).

    But just FYI, some of your facts don’t match what is known about the case. For instance, the roof and tank were fairly accessible, and were not under much surveillance. In fact, a variety of people (residents, neighborhood people, partiers, etc) regularly hangout up there–or at least they did before her body was found. And while it would be quite difficult to carry a body up there (by either the rooftop doorway or the fire escapes) and put it into the tank, it would have been much less difficult for either her to put herself in there or to be forced, coerced, or convinced to go in by someone else.

    I’ve gone through a range of feelings about the case, but I’ve pretty much settled on the likelihood that she in fact did cause her own death, with drug use or mental illness (or both) playing a role in that. That conclusion comes from a slew of information and evidence from a variety of places, as well as reading a lot of great analysis by different amateur sleuths online. And similar cases do exist, in which senseless, frightening actions are taken by someone who would seemingly never do such a thing–such as a girl in Austin who crawled into a ventilation system that no sensible person would ever have gone into (in her case, drugs were involved).

    I don’t have a strong opinion on whether it was suicide or accidental death, but personally my guess would be the latter, likely due to not recognizing the dangers involved and not being able to escape once inside the tank. But I’m definitely not married to that theory–it could have been something completely different, and more sinister. But most of the people online who espouse murder or conspiracy seem to have preexisting agendas, and don’t actually have a grasp of the known facts in the case, much less some of the finer details that one would have to go out of their way to find.

    By the way, among some of the better YT videos on Elisa’s death, there are a couple in which a man attempts to test his ability to carry a similarly weighted and shaped object up a similar path as the fire escape and water tank ladder. If she was murdered, it seems very, very unlikely that it happened somewhere other than the roof, even if multiple people were involved. There is a whole series of reasons why, including big difficulties with physical/logistical issues and maintaining discretion within and outside the building.

    • Muser

      Hmm thanks for the wonderful insight. You’re the third person to mention the accessibility of the roof – I was definitely wrong there, and will update it as soon as my final exams are over. I was wondering, would you be able to provide some more info on the amateur sleuths/evidence that leads you to believe she killed herself? I’m very interested in it.
      I’m going to have to search for some of these resources you found, take a look at them, and re-assess what I’ve written about. Thanks :)

      • blackcat

        According to the news, 2-14-13 the hotel checked the quality of the water, they found no problem, and the police announced elisa ‘s death time should be 2-1-13. did you see something wrong here? coroner can determined the death time from autopsy. And from the time the body in the water to sucked into the bottom caused the resident complaint the water pressure,match the time. that means dead can not throw itself into the tank!

        • Muser

          But I don’t understand how that means she was killed and thrown in? Could she not have jumped into the tank at that time, and died? As for her clothes.. “Brittney Westin” posted a comment that might be able to explain that

          • blackcat

            OK, let’s get back to LAPD’ s announcement, they said the coroner’s report is inconclusive, what does that mean?( autopsy at least can determine she was drowned or not, because, a life person get into the water, no matter lose consciousness or not, she will suck in large quantity of water because of breathing, so the lung and multiple organ will have different change . the dead body was thrown into the water, it won’t have such a change) that means she was alive while she got into the water, because if she was dead while she got into water, then police would have said we have a murder case here(because the dead won’t go into water by itself). I assumed that because of that, police said the coroner ‘s report is inconclusive, and they need another 6-8 weeks for further test. she got into the water tank by herself or forced by someone also needed to be found out

          • Muser

            I understand what you mean now. But the only problem is you’re basing this off of the assumption that the police would have said that we have a murder case, if she died before the tank. There is the possibility that the police would not have revealed that it was a murder case, in order to do a more hidden investigation and not let the criminal prepare.

          • kd1219

            The complete autopsy is online. It is several pages long. It tells all the medications she took and what was in her system (nothing). She apparently did not even take her meds as required. It gave the dates, dosage and how many pills remained.
            She was naked and floating on top of the water. It noted skin slippage (from the water and deterioration). Her room key card and watch and clothes were all in the tank.
            She had on ladies underwear but her shirt and shorts were men’s clothes and sizes way too big for her – lg and x lg. ?
            There were no injuries.
            Suicide doesn’t fit with these facts- in my opinion. She climbs up, finally gets the lid up, strips naked and throws everything – including shoes- into the tank then jumps in and pulls the lid closed behind her? She took her watch off?
            If she was raped on the roof (but there was no evidence of that either though) and stripped then made to climb up to the tank and was push in then it would make sense that the killer would throw in her clothes and hotel key so no one would find it.
            It is a very strange case and one that keeps coming back in my mind. I don’t understand there being no other evidence. Were there no other videos anywhere – halls, lobby, etc? If there are cameras in that elevator then they have other elevator videos. She didn’t walk up and down stairs the whole time I’m sure. Other videos might give more info – most importantly it would show if she was talking with anyone else or if the same person was on the elevator with her. It would even show if she was behaving strangely at other times.

    • blackcat

      I don’t think so, if she got into the tank by herself, why she is naked? where is her clothes? even though the police didn’t release the detail. she was upside down in the tank, and it is easy to explain because the water flow, her hair was sucked to the bottom, if she was not naked, the skirt and clothes were sucked into the bottom…

  • Elizabeth Howard

    Have you heard anything more about this? I’ve been trying to get an updated report on what happened – autopsy, etc, and haven’t found anything.

    • Muser

      Sorry, can’t find anything either so far.
      If I find anything I’ll let you know, if you find anything please let us know as well :)

      • JennyS

        I’m glad to have found your blog, I keep googling her too to see what the update is – I thought everyone forgot about her! Such a mystery. I don’t have any theories, I enjoy reading everyone else’s though. I’m going to read her blog(s) now as well.

        • Muser

          It seems that the media has largely forgotten of her. But we haven’t. If you come up with any ideas based on your readings of her blog, do share it with us :)

          • JennyS

            I’m back! Just finished her blog. Looks like she started as a fashion blogger, then depression grabbed hold of her and she couldn’t function. I’m impressed at what a great writer she was – even and especially when depressed. She manages to write about depression without making you depressed, but still showing you what it’s like.

            Agree with you that it really is such a fascinating mystery and while it seems like foul play were involved, I’m sort of leaning with what people were saying here in the comments. It sounds like life was just too much for her, she was on a journey to find something, find herself, etc, and was probably open to trying anything that came her way because the old way wasn’t working for her.

            I am surprised (well, maybe not) that not one person who she encountered in L.A. has come forward – or on her travels anywhere else. This means to me that she probably kept to herself, and if that’s the case, it seems less likely she encountered someone that resulted in her death being foul play. Just a guess though.

          • Muser

            I also liked how she did not make her depression contagious, so to speak.
            The thing is, she could have met a lot of people, but they may not have known her by her name. Or maybe they only knew her first name, and didn’t associate it with their headline news.
            I’ve heard cases where depressed people start acting normal and happy preceeding suicide – probably because they are happy they can finally end their lives (makes me very sad).
            Sometimes I wonder if this was the case for Elisa. Somehow it just all seemed like her life was finally turning around though. If it wasn’t foul play and she did kill herself, I have a feeling that she had no suicidal intentions. But that’s just a guess as well :)

            Thanks for your insights!

          • JennyS

            Aah, interesting points.
            Also, the blog is a bit out of time-context. This happened in Late Feb, 2013, and her blog really ends off about 7-8 months prior. There’s a world of things that could have happened to her psyche in the interim.

          • Muser

            You’re right, anything could have happened during that time.A relapse is a huge possibility.

          • SisterMorphine

            I was married to a Medical Examiner (coroner) for several years , & we are still close friends. It is absolutely true that many people who commit suicide are in remarkably good spirits bef. they do so–often my ex would hear from relatives, “I don’t understand why they did this, yeah, they’d been depressed for awhile, but in the past couple weeks they’d seemed so happy–” It was because they’d finally decided to do it & nothing bothered them anymore (although my ex didn’t say that to relatives!)

            That said, the Elisa Lam case smacks of coverup. My ex worked for several different counties and police agencies (no names, he still has to work in the field!) and I know he had extremely low opinions of LA (and San Diego, but that’s another story–he was there during the Kristin Rossum mess). The “elevator video” seems to have been released so that the cops could say, “See, she was bipolar & crazy, blah blah”–but I saw something ellse going on there. It looked like she was telling somebody to get lost (thus the weird arm movements) as well as how odd it was that the elevator started working AFTER she got off. I think they were also trying to show she was “high,” but she may well have just been scared out of her wits. As far as toxicology–while it’s true that some tests take time. esp. if there’s a backlog, but others (particular routine nine-panels screens) can be done in-house very quickly (many ME offices also have toxicology depts). It’s also true some drugs dissipate very quickly & cannot be found in routine blood/urine tests, but others can still be found even after years of decomposition, esp. in the hair, eyeball vitreous or liver. And there’s no reason not to release those results…it’s not like it’s going to hurt anyone, and it might give her poor parents some answers.

            So….I’m not sure whether to chalk it up to routine police incompetence and/or laziness (more common than you think), or whether something stranger than you think iis going on in that hotel, or what…but we definitely haven’t gotten ANYWHERE near the full story, and at this point I doubt we ever will.

          • Lisa Pethybridge

            So, three years later, I’ve heard that the blood had been drained from her body. Not sure if this is true but I’m wondering if this would affect the ability to check for certain substances. Also wondering if any medications she was on might react with any other substances in a way that would make those substances chemically unrecognizable. Obviously, I’m not knowledgeable in this field, just curious.

  • Dave Rades

    As any ” targeted individual “…{google} can tell you , the police are hooked up to any hotel with an ” inside” person who is a gang stalker ” perp” . The one that works that particular hotel wanted her sexually and drugged her with intent to rape her that night as she slept in her drug induced state . She sent a message that indeed she thought she was being stalked by several men . That being said my theory is that she felt she was drugged and instead of going to bed she started to walk the hotel area in drugged induced state and was lost in incapacitated mental condition until discovered by the person who had access to roof …. that “inside” person cannot be touched by authorities because 1. they need that inside person until they can be replaced by another “inside” person . 2. “inside” person has information of” targeting ” by police and has enough information to keep themselves safe for at least some time …. there will not be an arrest, ONLY a shootout with the ” inside ” person, with the inside person ending up dead with NO police injuries or fatalities .

  • Orly Frank

    I suspect that David Rades below is correct. At the very least insofar as there is a heavy cover up taking place relative to this case because it literally just fell off the radar. LAPD are about as corrupt an organization as it gets. Nothing surprises me and it’s quite likely we will never know what really happened to Elisa Lam. What a horror this lack of resolution must be for her family . A total nightmare in every sense of the word.

    • Muser

      I can only imagine the feelings the family must be going through. They deserve the truth, but may never get it.
      It’s very odd – this is one of the most mysterious cases as of late, and mass-media has completely forgotten of it. I agree in that it has the ingredients of a cover-up

  • FMFD2B1Ask1

    Most people will call me nuts, but whatever. I am who I am and think how I think. My theory is this was a demonic possession , maybe brought on by an individual or group. There’s a few reasons I think this. The Cecil definitely has ties to evil people and deeds, and the spirits that enter with such evil don’t always leave with their owners. Evil spirits love to prey on mentally weak people (i.e. Those with mental illnesses). I found her gestures with her hands interesting when she was speaking with whatever/whoever was talking with her. Those along with the way she is stepping kind of lead me to believe she was dealing with something. I can attest to this myself, as I have and do deal with some of the issues Elisa dealt with. When I have a episode, my risk for hurting myself (not just physically) goes through the roof. I believe this is caused by spirits preying on me in my weakened state. And when you put yourself in such an oppressive environment as The Cecil, there’s no telling what kind of things can happen. Here’s the kicker, and please don’t judge me…when this happened, I had a very unnatural attraction to this. I’d spend many hours a day reading through different sites trying to get as much info as I could. Things progressed. I wanted to be in the elevator she was in. I wanted to see the tank. I wanted to swim where she swam. Almost bought a plane ticket out there. Sick, I know…the point I tell you this is that this place has an UNNATURAL ATTRACTION for mentally unstable individuals and bad ideas. God only knows how many murderers, rapists, and people with various issues have come and gone through their doors. I feel this is brought on by some kind of serious demonic activity going on behind closed doors. Wouldn’t be a bit surprised if this place got destroyed by some natural disaster. Just my 2 cents.

    • Muser

      Don’t worry, I didn’t judge you.
      I actually appreciate this radically different approach to the case. Diversity in opinions is always appreciated. Even though I may not be inclined to believe in what you say, I am still open to the possibility of it. In this life, world, universe, who knows what’s possible?
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings :)

      • Cartman

        Start the video.
        0:07, she’s trying to read the numbers, but can’t, so she just hits all the buttons in the middle row, and then hits the “HOLD DOOR” button, thinking it reads, “CLOSE DOOR”.
        00:20, the occupant has left the apartment, is holding the elevator button in the hall, and is outside the vision of the camera. He says calmly, “hey, get out of the elevator.”
        00:24, she checks the hallway, and sees the man standing by the button. She positions herself to view the the man, and is waiting for the elevator doors to shut. The occupant holds the button to the elevator, and calmly asks who she is.
        00:37, She approaches the man and attempts to apologize.
        00:48, the occupant tells her to get out of the elevator. She shyly and slowly begins to, but sees danger.
        00:53, the occupant pulls out a gun, and this causes her to jump. The occupant is now telling her to come closer to him. She doesn’t understand there’s a camera in the elevator, while the occupant is fully aware of this.
        1:03, the occupant grabs her at gunpoint, and tells her to get out of here or he’ll kill her, he probably mugs her, and he releases her.
        1:30, she enters the elevator and is terrified. In a panic, she hits all the buttons, but she keeps hitting the “HOLD DOOR” button. The man is telling her to leave, and she doesn’t understand why she can’t.
        1:50, the occupant hits the button again and orders her to come back. She’s in tears and is trying to say she’s confused.
        1:57, the occupant places his gun on the back of her head, and she’s pulling away, giving the strange look about her arms.
        2:05, the occupant grabs her neck, and gives her a yank and tells her to shut up, and she completely submits.
        2:12, she begins begging for her life.
        2:20, the occupant tells orders her to be quiet.
        2:25, the occupant leads her away from the camera by her neck, and a gun to her head.
        2:45 (aporox) the occupant lets go of the elevator button.
        2:58, the elevator shuts, and begins going to the floors pressed.

        • Kent Kampo

          Others showed there was a camera in the hall, where is the video. Hotel employee maybe protected police informant is my guess. Also cameras on fire escapes fake as confirmed by security guard on youtube vid by Asian girl who goes through hotel and videotapes it.

  • 88Keys

    Maybe the video was edited because someone else come on and off the elevator at some point. Like an innocent person, not connected at all, and the police didn’t want them shown, either to protect their privacy or to avoid confusion (like viewers might think the other person was Elisa). Or maybe what was cut out was a lot of video of an empty elevator, and they were just cutting it down in the interest of time.

  • Luc

    If it’s really hard to get on to the roof, who made the ‘booger’ (boogeyman?) grafitti on the right tank inthe pic above?? Other grafitti and texts where found on a satelite antenna and some valve like device in between the tanks.

  • Chandra Leo

    I interested to know what really happened to her. I read her blog from here link n come up with my theory : Since there was no violent physical evidence reported and surely she was depressed. On her last footage video seems like she was planning to do something but doubted and end up arguing with herself – Jumping around , Waving and twisting her hands. One article on her blog clearly expressed that she need an attention ( – to be understand – to escaped ) but ended up her journey probably was not she decided.

    May her mind/soul find peace and a better place….

  • Ian

    HI I have been following this case recently and I realised that her Tumblr has posts on April and March. But (correct me if I’m wrong) wasn’t her body found on February? So who is re- blogging posts on her Tumblr?

    • Cilo Athenis

      Tumblr has an option to queue posts. Where you can leave it for a few days and it’ll stay active for you.

  • David


  • sam8881116

    I think it is safe to say she is mentally sick and have a mental breakdown that is why she behaves like that in the elevator. It is also possible she went to the roof by herself and accidentally fell or jump by herself on the water tank. This can easily be comprehend by layman people like me. But what I cannot comprehend is that why the elevator door doesn’t close when she is inside it. Is it because she presses too many floors? Does the elevator have that feature that it will automatically stop working when you press too many floors? Or is somebody (insider personnel) controlling the elevator looking at the camera? I would like to believe that her death is purely accidental and is cause by her mental breakdown but this elevator thing puzzles me.

    • Jeff Barker

      How is she going to jump into the tank when the lids are Sealed shut?

  • lindanielle

    All of these opinions and ideas are interesting. What I find just so creepy and it makes me think of something paranormal, is the fact that the elevator door won’t close even when she pushes buttons etc. Really creeps me out!!

  • Haruka Lin

    Maybe this is what happened to my friend ..;_ylt=A0LEV7o5yK9UF3MAsGQPxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTBsa3ZzMnBvBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkAw–?p=elisa+lam+mkultra+mind&tnr=21&vid=C372D4A7B2A09642768DC372D4A7B2A09642768D&l=573&…&sigt=11to2kb4c&

  • Dean Fang

    So, she wears glasses? She wasn’t wearing them in the video. Why wouldn’t she be wearing her glasses? Contacts? Is that why she looks so closely at the numbers? I know before I had eye surgery I was myopic and my eyesight was terrible. So bad that I had to be 2 inches away from large lettering to read it.
    1. No glasses
    2. No purse
    3. Video is slowed down
    4. Video timecode is tampered with
    5. Regardless, of her depression that wouldn’t explain the door not closing. This also makes the speculation that she was drunk or drugged irrelevant. We’ve all been drunk and used elevators in our day. Haven’t we?
    6. She definitely sees something and/or hears something. Even if only in her mind.
    7. Her hand movements almost look like she is forming a cross at one point
    8. She is talking to someone or something without a doubt
    9. Oddly, there is a part where she jumps out of the elevator as if to scare away a small animal or something.
    10. The shadows in the elevator are beyond creepy! They block out the door! You can’t actually see the edges of them.
    11. It is harrowing that the door closes on a blood red hallway wall on a different floor
    12. The shadows. Again! Watch the buttons on the wall near the end of the video as the elevator is going to different floors. Prepare to be scared as they go from visible to invisible, and back and forth at no set pattern.
    13. Unlucky 13. The police must ask the Cecil hotel for the unedited footage of the lobby, the hallways, and the roof… plus the elevator. They must demand it. If it can’t be provided then it is clearly the people who work there. Some of them at least. It would explain the elevator door not opening, the tank, the missing footage and the end result.

    14. The Lam Elisa TB test tie in is too crazy of a coincidence
    15. The toxicology report wasn’t issued in a timely manner as required. Ask yourself, why and WHO would be able to delay that with success.

    It would be of great interest to know why she was there in the first place. How many nights she planned on being there. Why she was wondering the halls without her purse or glasses. If she had company in the room or was expecting to meet up with anyone. It would also be nice to know, what transactions she made before the incident took place.

    My final thoughts. There are 3 options available to us:

    1) Supernatural forces are truly at work. Government agencies are instructed to keep it secret. Thus the edited footage? Could you imagine the public panic?

    2) There is a true conspiracy happening.

    3) The other option is merely psychos working at the Cecil hotel and possibly the police in on it or turning a blind eye? While the Dark Waters film (2002) and TB connection are merely coincidental.

    • Lisa Pethybridge

      Some peers in a group I belong to have suggested this could be something called “the elevator game” which apparently has some occult significance. The numbers she pushes apparently have some Crowley/Thelemic significance Also, some details (which I have yet to substantiate) make this sound like a ritual sacrifice. My perspective, as an occultist, is obviously biased but I thought it might be of interest.

  • Bianca

    This site is a compilation of some of her internet postings-
    And this one contains a selection of her tumblr postings-

  • Ling

    Someone has recently (Feb 2017) posted another connection that has been found in this case, and this is truly perplexing-

  • Kent Kampo

    Video was slowed and part deleted. Could police cut to protect image of confidential informat possibly a hotel employee? Not unusual in such an area and a hotel housing known criminals. Person may or may not have been involved. But cover up and missing cell phone and her lack of glasses makes me think murder, botched investigation and police cover up. And how did a petite girl pull cover closed? What about the derogatory writing by the tank that wasn’t faded? Why?