The Mysterious Case Of Elisa Lam

Coastaljames

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Could be anything...
 

Coastaljames

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Yeah might be.

Might not be.


Nobody is ever going to know.

Kinder to let her go. Forget her. She's none of our business.
 

Souleater

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Yeah might be.

Might not be.


Nobody is ever going to know.

Kinder to let her go. Forget her. She's none of our business.
You could say that about every subject on this MB, what if she didnt take her own life or die accidentally, what if she was murdered and the phone is the key to solving it, wouldnt that kinder to her family, to have her killer (if she was killed) brought to justice?
 

Eponastill

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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.
In the Netflix series, these two are identified as two men from the bookshop she visited, bringing her the books she ordered. The police did not consider them suspects. (Just saying).
 

Coastaljames

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You could say that about every subject on this MB, what if she didnt take her own life or die accidentally, what if she was murdered and the phone is the key to solving it, wouldnt that kinder to her family, to have her killer (if she was killed) brought to justice?
I appreciate the sentiment and agree with it.

I think the point is, for me at least, that people with infinitely more experience, knowledge and understanding of this stuff have come to the conclusion it's a dead case.

If they can't crack it - not sure I'm going to be able to do so.

Nor some socially-awkward 19 year old tapping away in his Mum's basement at 3 am eating Cheetos.
 

Coastaljames

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In the Netflix series, these two are identified as two men from the bookshop she visited, bringing her the books she ordered. The police did not consider them suspects. (Just saying).
Ok, thats great - thank you. That seems to make sense.
 

Souleater

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I appreciate the sentiment and agree with it.

I think the point is, for me at least, that people with infinitely more experience, knowledge and understanding of this stuff have come to the conclusion it's a dead case.

If they can't crack it - not sure I'm going to be able to do so.

Nor some socially-awkward 19 year old tapping away in his Mum's basement at 3 am eating Cheetos.
I get your point, but i still think there is more to this mystery than has been found so far, but thats just my opinion.
 

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Watching the Netflix prog now. I feel sorry for such a naive girl to end up in that area, even one of the cops said its one of the most dangerous areas in the whole USA.

She acts so odd in that elevator video. Very on edge , paranoid... Why is the elevator not moving /closing. All very odd.
 

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Watching the Netflix prog now. I feel sorry for such a naive girl to end up in that area, even one of the cops said its one of the most dangerous areas in the whole USA.

She acts so odd in that elevator video. Very on edge , paranoid... Why is the elevator not moving /closing. All very odd.
Its has been suggested that she pressed the door open button (in error?) And the standard time for the door to remain open when the button is pressed is 2 minutes. A body language expert who studied the footage of Lam in the elevator, says he saw no evidence of anxiety or fear in her behaviour, in his opinion her behaviour was childish and flirtatious (when watched at the correct speed, which the original footage released by the LAPD was not)
 

Naughty_Felid

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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.
Really good post - it was pretty much what I thought and I was tired of people digging this thing up again and again.
 

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...A body language expert who studied the footage of Lam in the elevator, says he saw no evidence of anxiety or fear in her behaviour, in his opinion her behaviour was childish and flirtatious (when watched at the correct speed, which the original footage released by the LAPD was not)
The problem with much information that is presented to the public as forensic science is that it's not science - or even particularly forensic. If the 'body language expert' in question is the guy I think it might be, then he's not the worst of the lot - but he doesn't actually 'know' anything. The opinions of a person with genuine expertise in a particular field might be useful as a single part of a much broader examination of data - but they don't undermine that broader examination if the weight of evidence leads in a different direction; no more than an inaccurate photofit image would undermine the guilt of a man carrying a body and a bloody hacksaw in a suitcase.

(Edit: I actually wish that there were a lot more body language experts in the world, and that they all played poker - if that was the case, then I guarantee most of us non-body language expert poker players would be an awful lot richer.)
 
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Souleater

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The problem with what is perceived by the public as forensic science is that it's not science - or even particularly forensic. If the 'body language expert' in question is the guy I think it might be, then he's not the worst of the lot - but he doesn't actually 'know' anything. The opinions of a person with genuine expertise in a particular field might be useful as a single part of a much broader examination of data - but they don't undermine that broader examination if the weight of evidence leads in a different direction; no more than an inaccurate photofit image would undermine the guilt of a man carrying a body and a bloody hacksaw in a suitcase.

(Edit: I actually wish that there were a lot more body language experts in the world, and that they all played poker - if that was the case, then I guarantee most of us non-body language expert poker players would be an awful lot richer.)
Here is a good video concerning the manipulated elevator footage. The author brings up quite a few interesting points, but for me the most important is why was the video released? As he points out, it tells us nothing we didn't already know. Presumably it was to show her actions were unusual, but that is largely the product of the manipulation. At normal speed, her actions appear far more ordinary. This video explores some analysis done by some people who study body language, which is interesting.

At the beginning of the video, there is a bit about the time line, and apparently the video was released five days before the body was discovered. It's easy to think it was released in its altered form to make it look like Elisa was strung out and behaving weirdly at the time she disappeared. It stinks, I tell you.

I like this guy's videos. He takes a very sensible approach. I've seen some of his others. He has more on Elisa's death, but I haven't seen them yet.

This is the post i referencing
 

Eponastill

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This is the post i referencing
That chap in the video was pretty apologetic in the Netflix doc and seemed to regret the way the speculation had got a bit out of hand?

If I recall correctly the police said they released the video because they didn't have any other cctv of Elisa in the hotel, and some footage of a missing person is better than no footage to try and get witnesses to remember her (and come forward with information).

"In his opinion her behaviour was childish and flirtatious" - if she was having an 'episode' connected with her mental health problems then goodness knows what was going through her mind or what she was seeing. I saw an advert for a programme on one of the freeview channels the other day (ghosthunting in the Cecil hotel) and I thought it was in poor taste really. IMO these people want to whip up weirdness and speculation and spectacle and ghoulish (can't think of the exact word, but basically making themselves famous from the misery and misfortune of other people - that hotel has had lots of unpleasant incidents because of its location and its inhabitants, and I don't think it's very tasteful to make entertainment out of it). Just my opinion.
 
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Souleater

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That chap in the video was pretty apologetic in the Netflix doc and seemed to regret the way the speculation had got a bit out of hand?

If I recall correctly the police said they released the video because they didn't have any other cctv of Elisa in the hotel, and some footage of a missing person is better than no footage to try and get witnesses to remember her (and come forward with information).
I can understand that but why was it released at a slower than normal speed?
Also, apologising for how the web investigations got out of hand does not mean he doesnt stand by his investigations.
The reason i quoted this post was for the section in the video where he has it analysed by a body language expert.
On the CCTV footage, i read somewhere in this thread it was said there was CCTV covering the corridoors in the hotel, idk whether this is true, but if it is, one has to ask where that footage is.
 

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On the CCTV footage, i read somewhere in this thread it was said there was CCTV covering the corridoors in the hotel
I'm only going on what the documentary said, but "the documentary said" that the CCTV was patchy and not good quality, and the police went through hours and hours of it and that clip was the only bit they found that featured her clearly (I think). I don't know about the speed issue. I think the police denied fiddling with it (although perhaps they obscured the times... I can't remember... but surely it's up to them what they want to release to the public, and it would take an entire new layer of conspiratorial thinking to think they wanted to make her (weird-looking at any speed) behaviour look more weird by changing the speed of it?) Internet sleuths might think they should have access to Everything but it was a missing person / murder investigation and I don't see why that should be so. They're not public cameras or anything, it's not public information?
 

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I'm only going on what the documentary said, but "the documentary said" that the CCTV was patchy and not good quality, and the police went through hours and hours of it and that clip was the only bit they found that featured her clearly (I think). I don't know about the speed issue. I think the police denied fiddling with it (although perhaps they obscured the times... I can't remember... but surely it's up to them what they want to release to the public, and it would take an entire new layer of conspiratorial thinking to think they wanted to make her (weird-looking at any speed) behaviour look more weird by changing the speed of it?) Internet sleuths might think they should have access to Everything but it was a missing person / murder investigation and I don't see why that should be so. They're not public cameras or anything, it's not public information?
If it was being treated as a potential homicide (as quoted in the police statement posted earlier) they should and would have had full access to all cctv and the hotel rooms i would have thought.
I dont have netflix so havent see the programmes.
 

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I still think the speed of the video is a valid thing to question, especially since it was the Los Angeles Police Department who released it. They do not have the best record for honesty. If there was any fiddling with the video done on purpose, I would assume the reason would be to cover up some incompetence, but that's just my opinion. Before the investigation became world famous, it was just a disappearance and it might well have been handled sloppily. Making the subject look more addled or whatever may have been too easy a thing to do, too easy to pass up. Or not. As others have said, we'll never know and I'm happy to leave it alone. It was a tragic death. I'm sure there are people out there who know more about it than they have admitted, but a lot of internet sleuths throwing half baked ideas around will do nothing to change that.

The video at normal speed seems to me to be showing us someone flirting or at least interacting with another person, but I'm no body language expert. :chuckle:
 

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It seems to me that whatever tje outcome it was poorly investigated, the fact that they only opened an investigation under duress from the Canadian government, makes me think they probably wouldnt have investigated it at all if it was up to them.
 

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I'm watching it and I've just got the last episode to watch. Interesting but sad stuff to be honest. It's made me think a little bit about 'youngish' people travelling alone and whether that exacerbates mental health conditions. Reason being that I can think of several cases over the last few years where young men appear to have a had a breakdown out of the blue and have killed themselves and/or disappeared whilst in a foreign country. One of my friends had a work colleague who experienced a bit of a mental breakdown out of the blue whilst working abroad. Thankfully they got him home and he didn't come to any harm. I guess with these cases you can't know everything that's going on but it has made me wonder whether travelling alone can be a trigger for some people.

Thinking about the Cecil Hotel generally, I'm wondering whether there are reports of actual hauntings etc. I'm not asking with regards to Elisa, hopefully she's at peace, but I'm just curious given the amount of deaths that have occurred there. Just seems a grim place. :(

Finally, has there ever been a thread about the dissapearence of Maura Murray? To be honest I don't think there's any paranormal angle to it but I was reminded of it as it's become somewhat 'internet notorious' like Elisa's case has.
 

EnolaGaia

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... Finally, has there ever been a thread about the dissapearence of Maura Murray? To be honest I don't think there's any paranormal angle to it but I was reminded of it as it's become somewhat 'internet notorious' like Elisa's case has.
As far as I know - no ...
 

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I still think the speed of the video is a valid thing to question, especially since it was the Los Angeles Police Department who released it. They do not have the best record for honesty. If there was any fiddling with the video done on purpose, I would assume the reason would be to cover up some incompetence, but that's just my opinion. Before the investigation became world famous, it was just a disappearance and it might well have been handled sloppily. Making the subject look more addled or whatever may have been too easy a thing to do, too easy to pass up. Or not. As others have said, we'll never know and I'm happy to leave it alone. It was a tragic death. I'm sure there are people out there who know more about it than they have admitted, but a lot of internet sleuths throwing half baked ideas around will do nothing to change that.

The video at normal speed seems to me to be showing us someone flirting or at least interacting with another person, but I'm no body language expert. :chuckle:
Could they have slowed the film down in the interests of showing what the missing girl looked like more clearly? Maybe the film was such poor quality that a freeze frame wouldn't have been any use, so they slowed down the film to enable those who may have seen her to get a proper look?
 

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I don't think the replay speed makes any difference in how affected, if not anomalous, her physical behavior appears. Having reviewed the video at 3 different speeds I still get the strong impression she was somehow affected or stressed - especially once it became apparent the elevator wasn't reacting to her initial button selections.
 

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Could they have slowed the film down in the interests of showing what the missing girl looked like more clearly? Maybe the film was such poor quality that a freeze frame wouldn't have been any use, so they slowed down the film to enable those who may have seen her to get a proper look?
They had a photo of her
 

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They had a photo of her
Even so, a moving image would give a better impression of what she looked like on that day, what she was wearing, etc. Normal speed may not have made it possible to get a good enough look.
 

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Simon says (6 days ago)
That was enlightening for someone like me who hasnt see the netflix series, i dont know if the same things were covered obviously, but the news that she posted on her blog that she had lost a phone a day or so before her death was news to me, also the access to the water tanks via the roof of the stairwell, which had an obvious ladder (bright red) to access its roof, enabling a person to drop onto the water tank from above, this does lead to a question though, if this access was so obvious and the hatch/lid of the water tank was open (as described by the janitor), why when the police searched the roof with sniffer dogs did they a) not pick up her scent leading up the stairway to the roof, and b) why didnt the police notice Elisas body if they examined the roof looking down in to the tanks (i can only guess they didnt go up onto the stairwell roof and look down at the tanks), what the video didnt go into, although it was mentioned in passing, was the sandy material on her clothing, which remains a mystery, also there was no mention of why she was naked and her clothes, and room key in the water with her.
All in all i thing the author of the script did a good job, but not a great job of trying to close this case once and for all.
 

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Here’s a recent case with some echoes of Lam’s:

“The body of a missing San Francisco computer programmer has been discovered by police inside a small, hidden crawl space above his bathroom more than a month after his disappearance - as investigators say no foul place is suspected in his death.



The San Francisco Police Department said in a press release on Wednesday that officers initially served a search warrant at 50-year-old Christopher Woitel's apartment in the Mission District on February 12, looking for evidence of a crime, but found no signs of forced entry and left.

Three days later, on Monday, investigators from the department's Special Victims Unit returned to the missing man's apartment on Guerrero Street, accompanied by a team from Crime Scene Investigations, and focused their second search on a small, three-foot-tall crawl space above the bathroom. Inside, they located Woitel's body, which police wrote 'was hidden from plain view.' It's unknown at this time how or why the 5-foot-10, 200-pound man ended up inside the tiny space.

Firefighters were then called to the scene and cut a hole in the ceiling to retrieve Woitel's remains.

'Mr. Woitel likely accessed the crawl space from the roof of the building and not from inside his apartment,' police stated. 'Foul play is not suspected in this incident.'

Woitel's cause of death is pending the medical examiner’s autopsy.

In the days leading up to his disappearance, relatives said Woitel, who has been struggling with depression, was acting paranoid. He expressed concerns about [current political unrest], and told his sister he was hearing explosions and felt 'unsafe.'

He also...talked about a planned getaway to the mountains.

Family and friends have described Woitel as a kind-hearted and generous man who has been known to bring food and open his home to people down on their luck, including some of San Francisco's numerous homeless.”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...ogrammers-body-tiny-crawl-space-bathroom.html

maximus otter
 
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