The Mysterious Case Of Elisa Lam

Ringo

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When I first saw the elevator vid, it did seem that something was badly amiss. But when I watched it again yesterday, it seemed more innocuous to me. I think she was messing around, unaware that the security camera was watching. Who hasn't acted stupidly or immaturely when they are alone? Was she role playing a spy? Or just having som fun in the hotel corridors? I think she was having an episode but the behaviour seems playful rather than anxious. If she had put her hands together in the shape of a pretend gun then we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Regardless of what happened, it's such a sad turn of events.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Just watched the first episode, which showed the CCTV footage in its entirety.
I suppose it is just about possible that her going in and out of the lift and somewhat strange hand gestures could be construed as signs of frustration or concern that the lift appeared to be faulty. I suspect most of us have done the "oh FFS come on!" shrug and gesticulation at a vending machine that has swallowed your money without delivering the goods.
 

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When I first saw the elevator vid, it did seem that something was badly amiss. But when I watched it again yesterday, it seemed more innocuous to me. I think she was messing around, unaware that the security camera was watching. Who hasn't acted stupidly or immaturely when they are alone? Was she role playing a spy? Or just having som fun in the hotel corridors? I think she was having an episode but the behaviour seems playful rather than anxious. If she had put her hands together in the shape of a pretend gun then we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Regardless of what happened, it's such a sad turn of events.
Just watched the first episode, which showed the CCTV footage in its entirety.
I suppose it is just about possible that her going in and out of the lift and somewhat strange hand gestures could be construed as signs of frustration or concern that the lift appeared to be faulty. I suspect most of us have done the "oh FFS come on!" shrug and gesticulation at a vending machine that has swallowed your money without delivering the goods.
Did they show the footage of the lift at the correct speed?
 

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Just watched the first episode, which showed the CCTV footage in its entirety.
I suppose it is just about possible that her going in and out of the lift and somewhat strange hand gestures could be construed as signs of frustration or concern that the lift appeared to be faulty. I suspect most of us have done the "oh FFS come on!" shrug and gesticulation at a vending machine that has swallowed your money without delivering the goods.
Was there any mention of the missing minute/was it shown/ what was the opinion?
 

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When I first saw the elevator vid, it did seem that something was badly amiss. But when I watched it again yesterday, it seemed more innocuous to me. I think she was messing around, unaware that the security camera was watching. Who hasn't acted stupidly or immaturely when they are alone? Was she role playing a spy? Or just having som fun in the hotel corridors? I think she was having an episode but the behaviour seems playful rather than anxious. If she had put her hands together in the shape of a pretend gun then we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Regardless of what happened, it's such a sad turn of events.
Somebody (sorry cannot remember who and im too lazy to go back through all the posts) posted a clip (youtube i assume) of a guy who analysed the footage and had a body language expert review it, their opinion was, that, at the correct speed, her actions were more flirtatious than anxious, also he theorises that the lift is not at the lobby (as most people assume), but on one of the upper floors, so it is possible (in my opinion) that she is interacting with somebody, either in the corridoor or in the doorway of their room so not in view of the camera.
 

Ringo

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Did they show the footage of the lift at the correct speed?
I think so - all of her movements seemed natural enough. How long is the complete footage? And how does it end - do the doors close eventually? Does she ride the elevator?
 

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I think so - all of her movements seemed natural enough. How long is the complete footage? And how does it end - do the doors close eventually? Does she ride the elevator?
There is a jump of something like 51 seconds in the footage shown previously, it has been suggested that this is down to the camera being motion activated, although this is unlikely as a cctv in a lift would be a simple device and the 'experts' who have comented on it discount this assumption, the lift doors do close and the lift moves to a couple of different floors with the doors opening on each.
The elevator moves without her, leaving her remaining on whatever floor she was on (14 apparently)
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Watched the rest of it tonight.
Seemed fairly sober and comprehensive coverage and I see no reason to disbelieve the official verdict.
Was good to see some of the most vociferous conspiracists admit that they had lost all perspective and got it very wrong.

Felt sorry for that Mexican musician for all the death threats he received.
 

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Well having watched the netflix series, this is what I took from it... The most terrifying thing discussed in the documentary is the obsessive "web sleuths" who think they can solve a murder by going through whatever they can find on the internet and essentially making their own truth up about it. They think whatever's on the internet is all there is to know, and obviously they don't know what the police know. In their efforts to Find The Murderer they picked this poor Mexican death metal musician who'd stayed in the hotel, decided he looked weird and the lyrics he sang was a confession - and then he got death threats from all over the world. Eventually he tried to kill himself. And he said he hasn't written any music since. This poor bloke, caught up in this case by complete idiots who think their opinion has got to be correct, and blast it across the world.

They didn't know Elisa Lam had already had many weird episodes at home with her bipolar disorder. And she hadn't been taking her medication properly (as shown by the autopsy analysis). She'd also been behaving weirdly enough for it to have been noticed in several places she'd visited in LA (being thrown out of places for it), and she'd been leaving odd notes in the hotel and the management moved her out of a shared dorm there. And as for that lift video, to me, without a doubt, she is acting weirdly (she doesn't just get in the lift and press a button, does she, which would be "normal") with all that skipping about and hiding and elaborate hand gestures. There were no signs she'd been attacked. And the hatch on the water tank was open so there was no need to think someone had shut her in there.

But the 'web sleuths' had heard the hatch was shut (from some casual remark from a policeman) and so they Knew she was murdered, and all their sleuthing was based on that. Plus in a frightening way they look for conspiracy everywhere. Some of the connections they make are really stretching the bounds of credibility - you really have to watch the programme to believe it! But I guess on internet forums things get turned into fact. Yes there are some pretty weird coincidences by the sound of it. But you can see how easy it is for some people to make 2+2=5. (like the claims against the musician above).

It makes their lives more interesting, they spend 100s of hours poring over the stuff. (And maybe I'm a bit like them for being interested in these unsolved cases too. Which is not a good thought really!) I suppose it's a human nature thing (of wanting to make sense of things that don't make sense) but taken too far. Which is kind of interesting from an anthropological fortean way. But with potentially ghastly consequences.
 

GNC

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Well having watched the netflix series, this is what I took from it... The most terrifying thing discussed in the documentary is the obsessive "web sleuths" who think they can solve a murder by going through whatever they can find on the internet and essentially making their own truth up about it. They think whatever's on the internet is all there is to know, and obviously they don't know what the police know. In their efforts to Find The Murderer they picked this poor Mexican death metal musician who'd stayed in the hotel, decided he looked weird and the lyrics he sang was a confession - and then he got death threats from all over the world. Eventually he tried to kill himself. And he said he hasn't written any music since. This poor bloke, caught up in this case by complete idiots who think their opinion has got to be correct, and blast it across the world.

They didn't know Elisa Lam had already had many weird episodes at home with her bipolar disorder. And she hadn't been taking her medication properly (as shown by the autopsy analysis). She'd also been behaving weirdly enough for it to have been noticed in several places she'd visited in LA (being thrown out of places for it), and she'd been leaving odd notes in the hotel and the management moved her out of a shared dorm there. And as for that lift video, to me, without a doubt, she is acting weirdly (she doesn't just get in the lift and press a button, does she, which would be "normal") with all that skipping about and hiding and elaborate hand gestures. There were no signs she'd been attacked. And the hatch on the water tank was open so there was no need to think someone had shut her in there.

But the 'web sleuths' had heard the hatch was shut (from some casual remark from a policeman) and so they Knew she was murdered, and all their sleuthing was based on that. Plus in a frightening way they look for conspiracy everywhere. Some of the connections they make are really stretching the bounds of credibility - you really have to watch the programme to believe it! But I guess on internet forums things get turned into fact. Yes there are some pretty weird coincidences by the sound of it. But you can see how easy it is for some people to make 2+2=5. (like the claims against the musician above).

It makes their lives more interesting, they spend 100s of hours poring over the stuff. (And maybe I'm a bit like them for being interested in these unsolved cases too. Which is not a good thought really!) I suppose it's a human nature thing (of wanting to make sense of things that don't make sense) but taken too far. Which is kind of interesting from an anthropological fortean way. But with potentially ghastly consequences.
You've summed up extremely well why I won't be watching this doc, even giving the "web sleuths" airtime is a dangerous sport, it's bad enough they exploit this poor woman (and not only her) all over the net. This need to be a crusader can have dire consequences. I'd rather not think about it, but stuff like this gets everywhere.
 

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even giving the "web sleuths" airtime is a dangerous sport,
To be fair a lot of them do seem pretty contrite by the end of it. But it is a bit late by then :( And you're right that any exposure probably sends more people to their channels - you can't imagine they've given up their hobby entirely. (I've read this whole thread now, better late than never, and a lot of their faces pop up in the videos linked to). Anyway it has given me pause for thought about my own speculation about 'true crime mysteries' and whether my interest is really in very good taste. So maybe the series isn't so bad, maybe it acts as a warning, even if it works by drawing in the curious in the first place.
 

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I'll just say that there have been cases of new evidence and leads on crimes, missing persons etc being turned up by Reddit and other forums, so it can be usefull having "many eyes" on a problem.
Just never get "too" carried away with it.
 

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I've just started watching the series,
One thing that puzzles me is why her clothes were in the tank with her.
If she'd gone for a swim, fallen in or tried to kill herself, why would her clothes be in the tank?
 

henry

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You've summed up extremely well why I won't be watching this doc, even giving the "web sleuths" airtime is a dangerous sport, it's bad enough they exploit this poor woman (and not only her) all over the net. This need to be a crusader can have dire consequences. I'd rather not think about it, but stuff like this gets everywhere.
cf. madeleine mccann
 

dream_decoder

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You've summed up extremely well why I won't be watching this doc, even giving the "web sleuths" airtime is a dangerous sport, it's bad enough they exploit this poor woman (and not only her) all over the net. This need to be a crusader can have dire consequences. I'd rather not think about it, but stuff like this gets everywhere.
It's actually worth watching, it doesn't side with the websleuths, if anything it debunks them and the conspiracies.
Ultimately, we'll probably never know if the official story is true, that's life.
May she rest in peace.
 

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Somebody (sorry cannot remember who and im too lazy to go back through all the posts) posted a clip (youtube i assume) of a guy who analysed the footage and had a body language expert review it, their opinion was, that, at the correct speed, her actions were more flirtatious than anxious, also he theorises that the lift is not at the lobby (as most people assume), but on one of the upper floors, so it is possible (in my opinion) that she is interacting with somebody, either in the corridoor or in the doorway of their room so not in view of the camera.
The trouble with reading body language is that in cases of delusion or other abnormal behaviour, body language can be severely 'off'. Without having a baseline 'normal' reading to start from with each individual, it can be very difficult to tell what someone's behaviour is showing.
 

GNC

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It's actually worth watching, it doesn't side with the websleuths, if anything it debunks them and the conspiracies.
Ultimately, we'll probably never know if the official story is true, that's life.
May she rest in peace.
OK, you and @Eponastill have reassured me somewhat, but I still prefer to watch Netflix for fiction. I think I'll watch that Tom Hanks western instead.
 

AnonyJoolz

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I said it a few pages ago, but I'm going to flippin well say it again:


I used to work in the mental health field, and make no mistake - mental illness kills people.

It's not rare either, some conditions have about 20% or higher fatality rate from suicide, misadventure or premature death from side-effects of the medication or a lifestyle ruled by the illness. That's higher than some cancers, but without the pathos or 'go fund me' pages.

Mental illness killed Elisa Lam far too young and it's desperately sad.

(edited to add context)
Thank you for your thank you!

Elisa may have been murdered, as a result of her illness nullifying her judgement regarding other people; or she may have fallen; or jumped into the water tank in a delusional state or any such combination of the above but the plain truth is she would not have died if was not suffering from an obviously distressing mental illness. I find this much more horrifying and disturbing than the 'wooo' factor.
 

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I'm also wondering if body language experts are really any better than graphologists or such.
 

catseye

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I'm also wondering if body language experts are really any better than graphologists or such.
That's a little bit what I was hinting at with my post. 'Body language' is such a broad brush, Derren Brown uses it to perform tricks but it doesn't mean he knows what mood someone is in.
 

dejanmikic

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It's hatch was unlocked, that was common at the time according to the Cecil Hotel manager

yep, that is a common knowledge now as Enola says. However, there are folks who remember that the hatch was sealed tight in the first reports, leading to more mystery.

Thinking about generally water tanks in hotels - I would personally want them to be tight closed, innit?
 

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She was not well. Because she was not well she got herself in a really unpleasant, unlikely but not impossible situation. Sadly she died.

This is my take. Very sad. I can't imagine how her family must feel with their daughter's tragic end be so popular, so public and so trawled over.

The only possibility, that I can see, of it anything other than a terrible accident is the fact the footage of her entering the hotel with two men, that she is clearly with, one of who gives her a box. Neither of these men have ever been identified. I do think there is a possiblity they might have had some involvement. But maybe not. We won't ever know.
 

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She was not well. Because she was not well she got herself in a really unpleasant, unlikely but not impossible situation. Sadly she died.

This is my take. Very sad. I can't imagine how her family must feel with their daughter's tragic end be so popular, so public and so trawled over.

The only possibility, that I can see, of it anything other than a terrible accident is the fact the footage of her entering the hotel with two men, that she is clearly with, one of who gives her a box. Neither of these men have ever been identified. I do think there is a possiblity they might have had some involvement. But maybe not. We won't ever know.
We still dont know what happened to her cell phone
 
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