Now streaming on Netflix, Crime Scene: The Disappearance at Hotel Cecil It omits crucial information while reinforcing myths about real-life location. Director Joe Berlinger covers all the appropriate context for the infamous Los Angeles crime scene, and also fully explores the disappearance and death of Eliza Lam in January 2013. However, there are some important facts to consider when deconstructing the mythology associated with the Cecil Hotel.
Crime scene it is primarily about the Lam case, which became a cultural phenomenon following the release of cryptic security footage in February 2013. In the video, the 21-year-old Canadian appears confused and even scared for her life as she looks down the elevator of the Cecil hotel. Over the course of four episodes, Disappearing at the Cecil Hotel tries to explain Lam’s behavior and how he ended up dying in a water tank on the roof of a building in downtown Los Angeles. The Netflix docuseries address numerous conspiracy theories involving the Los Angeles Police Department, the Skid Row neighborhood of Los Angeles, and online suspects, but the featured interviewees collectively come to the same conclusion as the coroner who examined the body of Lam: she died accidentally drowned, with her bipolar. disorder that plays a role in the tragedy. In short, Lam was not corrupted by the evil energy at Hotel Cecil, but instead suffered a manic episode after not taking his prescribed medication.
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Much of Disappearing at the Cecil Hotel focuses on the dangers of Skid Row, the section of Los Angeles where the Cecil Hotel is located. The Netflix series explains the history of suicides and violence in the titular building, which has been the home of multiple serial killers and has been linked to the Black Dahlia murder case, a legendary part of Los Angeles lore. Aside from all the rumors and speculation, however, Disappearing at the Cecil Hotel establishes the fact that the Hotel Cecil, now renamed Stay on Main, attracted drug addicts and travelers because of its price and location. This is what is seemingly left out of the 2021 Netflix TV show in favor of tabloid storytelling.
The Night Stalker connection is more tradition than fact
The second episode of Disappearing at the Cecil Hotel, “Secrets of the Cecil,” dedicates a short segment to serial killer Richard Ramirez, the subject of the 2021 Netflix docuseries. The night stalker. Interviewees recall how Richard Ramirez stayed at the Hotel Cecil during his massacre in 1985 and apparently paid $ 14 a night for a room on the 14th floor where he smoked marijuana and listened to AC / DC. At one point, Los Angeles historian Kim Cooper claims that “I KNOW [Ramirez] he’d be in the back alley, covered in blood … taking off his clothes, “ while Los Angeles historian Richard Schave says “He would walk barefoot in his bloodstained underwear to the floor and walk into his room, repeatedly.” The comments are presented as fact, and almost as if the interviewees were telling a spooky story around a campfire. In reality, however, Ramírez is rumored have been at the Hotel Cecil (via KCET), based on statements made by a night employee:
“Raoul Enriquez, hotel night clerk [at the Cecil]said a man who is certain that Ramírez lived in a room on the 14th floor for several weeks in late July and August and for another two weeks in late August. Enriquez, 36, who lived in a room on the same floor, said he had some brief conversations with Ramírez and that Ramírez told him he was from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. He said the men did not know each other by name. He said Ramírez liked to play rock ‘n’ roll music on the radio in his hotel room and, judging by the smells Enriquez could smell, he was smoking marijuana. “
Disappearing at the Cecil Hotel includes a short interview with retired LAPD homicide detective Glynn Martin, whose father once headed the investigative team at the Glendale Police Department during the Ramirez massacre. Martin does not speak specifically about the Night Stalker staying at the Cecil Hotel, but instead offers a comment on the case itself. Meanwhile, Cooper and Schave also discuss the Hotel Cecil’s reputation, and how a man like Ramirez could theoretically walk freely without causing much suspicion. However, the connection to Night Stalker appears to be more tradition than fact, and thus mythologizes the killer even more. Certainly, Ramírez may have made statements to the police about his stay at the Hotel Cecil, but an online search reveals that there are different variations on the same story. Just like the Night stalker documentary glamorizes Ramírez, Disappearing at the Cecil Hotel Similarly, it leans heavily on mythology without presenting any evidence confirming the connection to Cecil Hotel.
The black dahlia probably didn’t stay in the Cecil before his death
The third episode of Disappearing at the Cecil Hotel, “Down the Rabbit Hole”, includes a brief reference to Elizabeth Short, also known as The Black Dahlia. In January 1947, her mutilated corpse was found in the Leimert Park section of Los Angeles, and it was later rumored that she had visited the Cecil Hotel shortly before her death, which was later linked to Eliza Lam. Disappearing at the Cecil Hotel shows that online detectives targeted a musician known as Morbid as a possible suspect in the Lam case, and it is revealed that not only did he stay at Hotel Cecil once, but he also had a photo of The Black Dahlia in the background of a video that up to date.
Disappearing at the Cecil Hotel Unsurprisingly, he acknowledges The Black Dahlia’s connection, but the records imply that Short probably did not stay at the Hotel Cecil before his death. According to the Geography “The Cecil Hotel: The Deadliest Hotel in Los Angeles” video, a police officer named Myril McBride testified that he spoke to a frightened young woman on January 14, 1947, the day before Short’s body was found. The unidentified woman had come out of a bar on Main Street in downtown Los Angeles and claimed that someone had threatened to kill her. Over the years, the story has evolved to suggest that Short was having a few drinks at Cecil before his murder. However, McBride’s report only refers to a “bar” and not specifically to the Hotel Cecil bar. McBride also noted that the mysterious woman claimed she was meeting her parents later that night, in stark contrast to the fact that Short had been estranged from her parents for years. The Black Dahlia may have visited the Cecil Hotel at some point in her life, but she wasn’t necessarily the scared young woman McBride spoke to on January 14, 1947.
There was a ghost sighting at the Cecil Hotel in January 2014
Less than a year after Lam’s death in 2013 at the Cecil Hotel, Koston Alderete, 11, captured a photo that appears to show a figure hanging outside a fourth-floor window. The boy reportedly suffered from nightmares after viewing the image, which aligns with conspiracy theories that the building is being haunted by spirits. In Disappearing at the Cecil Hotel On Netflix, interviewees speculate about how Lam managed to get to the roof of the Hotel Cecil, with one person suggesting that he may have climbed a fire escape escape outside the building and speculation was rampant that this was the image that young Koston had captured. Since the Lam case has become a cultural phenomenon, Alderete’s photo became part of the Hotel Cecil mythology.
Pablo C. Vergara also known as “Morbid” is an award-winning filmmaker
Disappearing at the Cecil Hotel features interviews with Pablo C. Vergara, a musician who was wrongly accused of murdering Lam by online detectives. He makes his first appearance in episode 3, “Down the Rabbit Hole,” as his death metal character Morbid captures the attention of Lam’s investigators. In the fourth and final episode, “The Hard Truth,” Vergara looks at how he attempted suicide because of online bullying and how people used his art to suggest that he might be a murderer in real life. Crime scene establishes the fact that Vergara is indeed a music recording artist with a history of making provocative videos, but the Netflix documentary does not reveal that he is actually an accomplished director who won a scholarship from the New York Film Academy. His 2018 short Necromurder is based on the real-life murder of Mayhem musician Oysten Arseth (aka Euronymous) and won the Best International Fiction Film award at FICIME, along with the Best Music award at the Shockfest International Film Festival . Necromurder it will soon be adapted into a horror feature film.
Other connections to pop culture
Hotel Cecil has been linked to both The Black Dahlia and Night Stalker, but has also been the backdrop for some high-profile music videos. The building is featured in U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name” (above) and Blink-182’s “The Rock Show.” The Hotel Cecil was also the inspiration for the Coen brothers’ 1991 film. Barton Fink (via Santa Barbara Architectural Foundation).
Crime Scene: The Disappearance at Hotel Cecil released in February 2021 on Netflix.
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