What is Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel about?

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Crime Scene is a new docuseries about the haunting unsolved murder of Elisa Lam

A new Netflix original true crime docuseries by Joe Berlinger, the same creator and executive producer of Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, is coming to Netflix on Feb. 10. It’s called Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel.

The first season of the series will consist of four-episodes that not only explore Elisa Lam’s mysterious death, but also the Cecil Hotel’s dark history.

Let’s take a quick peek at what it’ll be about.

Crime Scene: Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel inspiration

One of the most haunting unsolved mysteries in recent history took place at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, California, in 2013.

While visiting L.A. with friends and staying at the hotel, 21-year-old Elisa Lam, a Canadian tourist, mysteriously vanished. Over two weeks later, when other guests complained about bad water pressure, her body was discovered in one of the water tanks on the hotel’s roof.

That sounds bad enough, right? What made it even more chilling was the video of what was likely her last moments alive.

It was captured by the hotel’s elevator surveillance cameras and shows Lam acting erratic, other times like she’s hiding from someone and other moments where it appears she’s talking to someone—but nobody’s there.

Crime Scene: Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel synopsis

Netflix’s show description sums it up like this:

"The notorious Cecil Hotel grows in infamy when guest Elisa Lam vanishes. From the creator of “The Ted Bundy Tape,” a dive into crime’s darkest places."

Crime Scene: Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel format

The series will feature interviews with hotel employees and guests, in addition to people involved with investigating the Elisa Lam case. However, Berlinger told Variety that it’s not just Elisa’s disappearance he wants to tell. He also wants “to create a series that explores a particular location’s role in encouraging or abetting crime — or the perception thereof.”

He sure found that in the Cecil!

Justin Wilkes, one of the other executive producers on the series, summed it best when he told Variety, “The Cecil Hotel, with its storied history shrouded in mystery and notoriety, felt like the right locale for our first exploration.”

Yep. After all, it has seen more than its fair share of murders and suicides. Even two known serial killers stayed there: “Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger.

We’ll be able to check into and investigate the Cecil (if we dare) when Crime Scene: Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel starts streaming on Netflix on Feb. 10.

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