Real-Life Chillers: The Elisa Lam Mystery

Most of the Real-Life Chillers I’ve dealt with so far have been pretty old – Jack the Ripper, Hinterkaifek…even the Georgia Guidestones went up 36 years ago.

But strange things happen every day, and some of them are true chillers.  Take, for example, the death of Elisa Lam in 2013.

Elisa Lam was a Canadian college student of Chinese descent who was disappeared from the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles on January 31, 2013, then reappeared on February 19, floating nude in the hotel’s water tank (which was only checked because the hotel residents started complaining about the water pressure).

The water tank is on the hotel’s roof and difficult to get to, but the authorities have ruled Lam’s death an accident.  It’s possible that “accident” is the police being too nice – or not quite having enough evidence – to say “suicide”, since Lam struggled with bipolar disorder.  Either way, that would probably be enough, if it weren’t for this security camera video that is the last record of Elisa Lam alive:

Pretty eerie, yes?

The official explanation for Lam’s behavior is some sort of mental breakdown brought on by her bipolar disorder, and let’s face it, that’s probably true.  But still…why wouldn’t the elevator door close?  Why did it take the coroner’s office four months to release a verdict?  The narrator on that video may jump a little bit too quickly to paranormal explanations, but it seems pretty clear that something weird was going on…

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