Elisa Lam Updates?

*Another update on 6-20-13 Elisa Lam’s death was ruled accidental drowning and she was suffering bipolar disorder which was listed as a significant condition. The result was issued by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office Thursday according to Lt. Fred Corral from the coroner’s investigations division. There are still lots of questions and will update more later.

*Update to the original update: Someone on Twitter contacted me and let me know that the toxicology reports will be ready next week. Let’s wait and see if this will shed more light on the case. (Thank you TP!)

I wrote an article called “What Happened to Elisa Lam?” for Punchnel’s a few months back. If you’re like me, you were haunted by the youtube video of her acting strangely in the elevator. I sum it all up in my article as well as my thoughts on the case and murder in general here at Punchnel’s.

More than 2 months later, I hadn’t heard any updates until on Twitter, someone contacted me and let me know that the toxicology reports will be coming out sometime in May. Initial reports indicated it would take 6-8 weeks. Based on some of the comments I’ve seen regarding the case, as well as scouring websleuths, the explanations have varied all across the board, ranging from she was meeting a weird stalker to the supernatural. In response to my Punchnel’s article, someone actually posted a video of someone else who had visited the Cecil Hotel and recorded their trip. Their report was in Chinese and I will post a brief summary in English of their conclusions. First, the video below:

It’s interesting actually seeing the interior of the hotel. To do a very shoddy translation as my Mandarin is not that great: the video starts off with a brief introduction to the hotel, mentioning it is a really old hotel. The lobby and the halls look brand new, but the rooms are not that great and very simplistic in comparison (there are shots of both the interior and exterior). At about 4:28, he mentions five things he wants to investigate.

1. Does the door of the elevator not close?

2. How many buttons and panels are there outside the elevator?

3. Does the hold button work?

4. What can you see from the inside?

5. What can you see if you look outside the elevator?

Interestingly, when he pushes the floor buttons inside the elevator, the door does not close (in most modern elevators, pushing the floor buttons closes the elevator). That’s why in the video, when Elisa pushes the buttons, the elevator doesn’t necessarily close until later. Outside, there are only two buttons (up and down) and one panel on the wall. From the inside, as there is a mirror right outside on the opposing wall, you can see if anyone is outside the elevator. Peeking out, there are corners (marked in his graphic map) that show what you can and can’t see.


Next he posits three questions:

1. How many ways are there to get to the top?

2. How accessible are those paths?

3. How close can you get to the water tank?

First, he goes to the fire escape which is open and can be accessed to reach the top floor without any problems. However, it is dangerous and had someone actually carried Elisa up there, it would have been extremely difficult for them. Second, the pathway that can only be accessed by employees is locked off and sets off an alarm. The narrator proceeds to climb up the fire exit to reach the top and from there, it looks shockingly easy to access the water tanks, especially as there is a stairway and building to its side from which you can jump off.



Again, I was surprised at how easy it was to reach the top through the fire escape. The guy just went up there and there was no security. The video ends on that note (major props to FilmTransformer for doing this)

Someone also let me know that the Hotel Cecil has SRO status, which as one tweeter informed me through two different identities is a: “Single Resident Occupancy. Low income incl registered sex offenders live there full time.” Elisa Lam’s blog/tumblr also has some cryptic references as in one about some creeps going after her strong. You can check out her tumblr here:


Someone wrote that Elisa Lam mentioned Left 4 Dead and someone using a water tank to escape, though I have not been able to find this tumblr post (indicating maybe it was a stunt gone awry). Truth is, I have no idea what really happened and like most readers, can only speculate. At the same time, I try to focus on what’s important here, and that’s the tragic death of Elisa Lam. I hope for the sake of her family and friends, they can find out what happened to her soon.

Thanks everyone for reading.

52 thoughts on “Elisa Lam Updates?

  1. Is it just me or is it completely bizarre that the Canadian media is not more interested in this? Particularly Given all the attention that other cases have got e.g, arias case. Where is the toxicology report?

    • hey Dezzer, I don’t know where the toxicology report is either. I was told a few times via twitter it was going to be ready a few weeks back. Not sure what is going on. Thanks for checking out the post.

    • That’s a really good point. Perhaps the police are holding back as a matter of privacy. Either way, hope there’s some clarification at some point. Thanks for coming by the blog.

  2. No one seems to thinks it’s bizarre how Richard Ramirez just recently died? One of the most famous serial killers of The Cecil Hotel, everything surrounding the Hotel is so mysterious. I can’t help but want to visit one day.

  3. Pingback: Elisa Lam Death Ruled Accidental | The Whimsy of Creation: The Blog of Tieryas

  4. Who is going to believe that is accidental ? There are so many unanswered questions that investigators are trying to evade. . World opinion should prompt FBI to make sepearate findings.

  5. Pingback: Reflections on the Elisa Lam Case | The Whimsy of Creation: The Blog of Tieryas

  6. Pingback: Reflecting on the Elisa Lam Case | The Whimsy of Creation: The Blog of Tieryas

  7. I just drove by the Cecil an hour ago after reading about this case yesterday! I can’t believe how haunting this all is. It reminds me a lot of The Shining. I am going to visit the bar area on Sunday and take my own pictures of it. I’d also like to find out how the elevator works for myself. It’s frightening to think that this may have been an inside job, and maybe I’ll be next to someone who is suffering from guilt.

  8. Pingback: » Enigmatica Perfected

  9. Too many distractions for me to pay a much attention to this story until now. No toxicology results, the coroner would have been able to tell if she died of drowning or if her dead corpse was place there. This was never clarified. Ramirez was one of a long line of serial killers who may have been “tuned up” by Anton Levay, etc-a front for the Media Industrial Complex’s long line of manufactured killers and weirdos. This story has occult and hidden mean to it that needs to be crowd sourced.

  10. When she pressing all the buttons the first time, keep an eye on the door.. first it come’s out a little like it want to close..and then it goes farther back as it’s starting position….

    Also after she disappears , the doors don’t go in so far , when opening after each stop…

    Maybe the first time the door was remotely opened by security guard to lure her out of the elevator ?

  11. Anyone else notice that on her tumblr site there is a post with an image of hand movements, one of which looks familiar. Also, another post mentions the German word for sleepwalking. A mystery within a mystery. That is the key to all wonder.

    • You’re asking my question :). What about any other cameras? We’re supposed to believe that the Cecil is so weird and flakey that it doesn’t have any, when virtually any other facility is bristling with these (especially since all the laws changed after 911). But your question “and would a hacker…?” What does that suggest to you? To me, it suggests that someone in authority modified the video. Someone having the privileges to do so – not a “hacker.”

  12. I just learned about this case yesterday (actually, I already knew about it but I wasn’t really interested. So yesterday I watched the video and since then I can’t stop to think about it). I am pretty obsessed. I just can’t believe it was an accidental death, my hypothesis that’s a homicide – maybe the killers are the italian and mexican guys, maybe someone who work in the hotel… So weird! Greetings from Brazil! (and I’m sorry about my english)

    • I to am pretty obsessed about this case I hear that she updated her blog six months after her death on every site I see but there is no link to it or what was apparently said

    • http://nouvelle-nouveau.tumblr.com/archive

      here is a link to her blog on tumblr, more specifically her “archive” page. It shows that in February 2013, March 2013, April 2013, June 2013 and December 2013, she was active and had reblogged only a select few photos.

      This is something that’s been puzzling me for a while now, glad I have finally found people to share this with!!!

  13. http://nouvelle-nouveau.tumblr.com/archive

    here is a link to her blog on tumblr, more specifically her “archive” page. It shows that in February 2013, March 2013, April 2013, June 2013 and December 2013, she was active and had reblogged only a select few photos.

    This is something that’s been puzzling me for a while now, glad I have finally found people to share this with!!!

  14. Has anyone gone to the Cecil (or whatever its called now) to poke around to see if there really only were security cams in the elevators? I really find it hard to believe. Most places (since 911) are bristling with them – especially hotels. Has anyone investigated whether they had hidden security cameras?

  15. This case is so weird but so interesting too, anyway nobody can know what really happened. These guys did a very great video, it helps a lot to think about what happened but just that, we can think too many things, but we’ll never know what’s the truth behind all these things

  16. I researched this over a few days, myself, and came to my own conclusion.

    There are nearly 1000 posts on a websleuths.com forum that go back and forth over many details (link below), expert opinions and also much speculation (quite a bit of bull$hit conspiracy theories too). There is also a PDF of the autopsy out there (link below).

    In summary, all of my research has led me to believe that she died an accidental and tragic death. This is the same conclusion that the LAPD came to.

    I believe she took the fire escape ladder up to the roof (alone), climbed on top of the water tank fully clothed, jumped in (i.e. she was in the midst of a psychotic break, as visible in the elevator video, and as assessed by professionals), tried to escape, undressed herself completely while inside (believing her clothes were weighing her down), failed (due to the weight of the hinged lid), and drowned.

    I don’t believe she could have been murdered, as there was absolutely no evidence of foul play (i.e. trauma to the body), and the cause of death was drowning, as stated in the autopsy.

    Don’t waste your time doing the same research as I did. It’s very depressing and there’s so much crap and repetitive confusion/speculation to wade through.

    Websleuths forum: http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?200566-Elisa-Lam-What-Happened
    Autopsy PDF: http://www.pdf-archive.com/2014/02/24/el-autopsy/

    • Great post! But i dont think she death by accident. No trauma ok, but she dont le ave a note of suicide and she think in a way she dont be found.
      Other thing with no trauma, if i use “escopolamina”(burundanga) i control the person and other people dont notice that. And in 24 hours the drug is imposible of find.
      Sorry forma muy english, im search forma people want investigate this case toó, because i dont think in suicide.
      Cu guys

      • Why “great post?” The writer said “a couple of hours of research.” That of itself is nothing. If anything makes the writer seem like they may intact be helping to hide something. The circumstances surrounding this event are incredibly suspicious and official closure of the case only added to the feeling.

  17. JT- the only thing not addressed in most of the theories I’ve seen is the fact that the lid of the water tank was closed. Looking at the tank, I cannot imagine jumping in from the top while closing the lid behind you- it seems like it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, doesn’t it? Also, it seems like quite a jump onto the top of the water tank from the top of the adjacent utility room, especially for someone Elisa’s size.

  18. Honestly, the weird hand movements she does in the door of the elevator, looks a lot like someone would do when they’re trying to stop an elevator to get in. I’d do that, too, to see if maybe there was something wrong with the door’s sensors. And like everyone has pointed out, the elevator doesn’t move floors. Instead, the doors open and close repeatedly until the end of the video. We don’t ( at least I don’t ) know exactly what buttons Elisa pushed.
    And with the lid, the human body generally floats in water. According to things I’ve read prior to this post, the lid wasn’t very heavy. I don’t know where the water level was the moment she got in the water tank, and I don’t know if she could have reached the lid. But if she could, I’m guessing it would be pretty easy to close. But there’s also the fact that if someone was using water at that moment, the suction from the water would pull her down. If she was trying to hide, she would have grabbed onto anything to keep her up.
    I don’t know much about her, but I don’t think she was on a psychotic outbreak. She may have been paranoid, like the Tumblr post and the elevator video proves. And if you were trying to hide, wouldn’t you close the lid, too? Otherwise, it’d be pretty easy to realize that you were in there with the lid randomly open.
    The being naked thing is what’s catching my attention, also.
    Also with her Tumblr, her Archive shows activity all the way to December of 2013. This has nothing to do with my view on the video, I just think it’s kind of odd.
    I also know that Bipolar Depression doesn’t send you going crazy.
    I don’t know exactly what happened, obviously. That’s what I’m trying to figure out, because like everyone else, that video’s been haunting me since I watched it. It may have been a murder, it may have been some weird paranormal stuff, and it may have been an accident. I don’t know, I’m just a 19 year old. What I do know by the video, is that she freaked out. In the midst of her freaking out, she exited the elevator. When she throws up her hands at 1:13, I’m also going to assume that was part of her freaking out. Most of the human population throws their hands towards their heads or necks when they’re frightened. Proving my point, at 1:30, she lowers her hands from her head while she’s re-entering the elevator, and grabs the sides of the doors, most likely to steady herself mentally or physically. Then presses all of the buttons, including or excluding the “Close Doors” button. At 1:57, she starts the hand gestures. I’d generally do that to, if the doors wouldn’t close. I don’t know why her other hand is up, or why she holds her hand still at first, then waves it. But where she waves it is around the area where the sensors are. Then she’s freaking out, and maybe talking to someone. I’d be wondering what the hell someone was waiting outside an open elevator, freaking out. We don’t know, we can only see half of her, and we can’t see the mirror across the hall to prove this point. 2:29 is the last thing you see of her as she walks ( not runs ) towards the only staircase, or a fire exit, that goes to the roof. The doors start closing at 2:58, and stay closed for exactly 10 seconds. They, please make note of this, open ALL of the way, and start closing again. They’re closed for almost 14 seconds this time, and again open all of the way for a few seconds. And that’s my interpretation of the elevator video.

    • The elevator moves… you can notice it at the light bulb you can see in upper right corner trough the elevator door..when doors closing and opening again the first time the bulb is gone…

    • I suspect the reason the case is “too hard” to solve for most people is that they won’t step “outside the box.” They don’t realize that there is an infrastructure of psychopaths surrounding the society that would think nothing of turning an individual into an experiment. The “not closing the lid” issue is somewhat unneeded. As has been mentioned, it would have been extremely awkward, difficult, or impossible for her to have done so on the way into the tank. It is also assumed that it was open when she came upon it. Either way, from inside the tank, struggling to stay afloat, closing a large door situated open flat on the surface of the top of the tank would be (probably) impossible – especially under stress. Her clothes may have been off because she was intelligent. Being in the water in your clothing is a mistake if you want to float. Someone may have taken her clothing away once they understood her situation was sufficiently hopeless. She may have been administered “knock out” drugs as well – drugs that didn’t quite do the job, until later. Who knows? The writing on the roof also indicates that someone else was there. Look for “Fecto… her summa” – and the fact that the same writing style was repeated on another part of the roof. If that statement was translated accurately, it refers to a “her” – a female – and in the past tense. Something like “she was a total ____” – this is a comment that only a psychopathic hater of females could utter. That you might find many of those characters on someone’s payroll is not so surprising to me at least. Also the fact that it was written in Latin indicates the kind of mentality that joins a fraternity. Fraternities are essentially “junior Mason” camps that love to use esoteric symbolism to confuse the “profane” (that’s us). Thus the obsession with “Delta Tau Delta” (Greek) etc., and in Masonic temples, Arabic language – they even greet each other in Arabic. Their entire ethos is bound up in a shallow sort of “secrecy” that would be the envy of any 7-year-old boy. Likely poor Elisa, no doubt an innocent dupe, was discovered by some malignant particle out there and scoped for this treatment – that’s how it seems to me.

      For further information on this kind of malignant behavior, see: “gang stalking” as a topic.

  19. The elevator moves… you can notice it at the light bulb you can see in upper right corner trough the elevator door..when doors closing and opening again the first time the bulb is gone

  20. About her clothes in the water. Does it include her underwears? I’m asking this because I can understand why someone trying to swim would remove her trouser and top, but it doesn’t make sens for her underwears. Especially in a tiny place like this where it’s probably more difficult to remove your clothes than to swim with your clothes on.

  21. People, Elisa’s own family accepted the conclusion it was an accident. Obviously, they have info about her mental health status at the time. You can see she was paranoid in the video. She probably thought someone was chasing her. She hid in the water tank and drowned.

    Also, her bizarre behavior is all part of her psychosis at the time. The comment she made on Tumblr shows that she was paranoid and she was talking about going out and Italians and Mexicans are pushy. It is not in the context that they are chasing her now. This was a tragic accident. From her blogs, you can read that she had been depressed for years, withdrew from her studies and she was on multiple medications and they may have had something to do with her psychosis. The point is that this is tragic and instead of looking for supernatural or killers and things, look at the obvious and let her R.I.P.
    p.s. the later posts by her after her death on tumbler were obviously done by someone who hacked her account. A lot of the postings were done in German… C’mon people, use your reasonable brains here and let the family and the girl rest. She obviously was mentally disturbed.

    • Often wonder where comments like these come. The parents agreed to the findings is in some way conclusive (in your mind)? I’m sure her parents were experienced forensic investigators — please. There is no reason to let this rest – least of all her parents and “the poor girl.” As you aptly state: she’s dead. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what the rest of us do to protect ourselves from this kind of likely murder. It is almost no doubt that she was murdered, the questions remain: who did it? and why? You, as an observer here (and perhaps a participant) apparently have not looked in much depth at such popular trials as that of OJ Simpson or for example Scott Peterson. When the details _are_ examined, the fishy odor comes straight out. There was nothing “normal” or set in stone about either of those cases – nor of this one. There is likely collusion with the judicial system to cover something up or perhaps less benign – spend taxpayer money. That doesn’t make any of the odd facts of this instance go away. And speaking of those last two words in my last sentence – might you (and your kind) consider the possibility?

  22. Finally, the weird hand movements are Tai Chi. This is a relaxation attempt and it is used for distressing when she was paranoid. You can see her bending her knees in an attempt to do so. Please let this rest.

    • If she weren’t Asian, you wouldn’t say it was “Tai Chi.” Even your use of the term “Tai Chi” is kind of insulting. As a 30 year practitioner of – get this – Taijiquan – the proper name of the martial system as opposed to the “tai chi” – the daoist principle upon which the system is based – her hand movements have _nothing_ at all to do with “Tai Chi” as you so astutely put it. The far better explanation is that she is in a panic, whether induced by drugs, or by sheer terror, to see if the elevator is operating. She is attempting to activate – or at least to check the status of – the electric eye on the elevator.

      I think it is you who should rest and let more competent observers develop this case where apparent law enforcement has decided to bury it.

      • regarding her tumblr, can someone check if any of her post mortem reblogs were originally posted after her disappearance? that would indicate it was someone else using her tumblr. would’ve done it myself but currently no access to a pc and checking it on a phone takes ages.

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