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Netflix Drops Trailer For True Crime Doc The Vanishing At The Cecil Hotel

Jess Hardiman

| Last updated 

Netflix Drops Trailer For True Crime Doc The Vanishing At The Cecil Hotel

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Netflix has released a trailer for forthcoming true crime documentary, Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, which explores the mysterious disappearance and death of Elisa Lam.


The four-part series, which debuts on 10 February, delves into the bizarre story of a 21-year-old Canadian student called Lam, who vanished from the Cecil Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles in 2013.

Her body was eventually recovered from a water tank on top of the hotel more than two weeks later, but experts still remain baffled by what happened to her - with hotel CCTV footage having shown her talking and gesturing wildly in the corridor near an elevator, seemingly alone.

A synopsis for reads: "From director Joe Berlinger (Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, Paradise Lost), Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel is the first season in a new documentary series that deconstructs the mythology and mystery surrounding infamous locations in contemporary crime.

Credit: Netflix
Credit: Netflix

"For nearly a century the Cecil Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles has been linked to some of the city's most notorious activity, from untimely deaths to housing serial killers.

"In 2013 college student Elisa Lam was staying at the Cecil when she vanished, igniting a media frenzy and mobilizing a global community of internet sleuths eager to solve the case.

"Lam's disappearance, the latest chapter in the hotel's complex history, offers a chilling and captivating lens into one of LA's most nefarious settings."

Amy Price, General Manager of the Cecil Hotel. Credit: Netflix
Amy Price, General Manager of the Cecil Hotel. Credit: Netflix

Berlinger said he's always felt 'fascinated' by Lam's case, and wanted to explore the role that the location had played in her death.

He explained: "As a true crime documentarian, I was fascinated in 2013 when the elevator video of Elisa Lam went viral and legions of amateur detectives used the internet to try to solve the mystery of what happened to her, a 21-year-old Canadian tourist on her first trip to Los Angeles.

"So, when journalist Josh Dean, who is also a producer on the project, brought us his research into this case, we realised there was as an opportunity to do something different by not just telling the story of Elisa's disappearance, but to create a series that explores a particular location's role in encouraging or abetting crime - or the perception thereof.

"My past projects have leaned into individual crimes and criminals, but I have never explored the role a particular location has played in creating an environment in which multiple crimes seemingly take place over and over again.

"The fact that Elisa disappeared in a location that has a multi-decade history of crimes is what made her case fascinating to me."

Topics: Entertainment, TV and Film, True Crime, Netflix

Jess Hardiman
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