Netflix shares Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel trailer

Episode 1 of Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel. c. Courtesy of Netflix © 2021
Episode 1 of Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel. c. Courtesy of Netflix © 2021 /

Ever since I learned that the first season of Crime Scene, a new true crime docuseries, was coming to Netflix, I’ve been anxiously waiting for a sneak peek.

Well, the wait is over. Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel trailer has finally dropped.

It’s hard to tell from trailers sometimes, but it looks like it’s going to be good. If nothing else, it’s a way to spend more time in the Cecil, a hotel I’m both obsessed with and terrified of. There’s a reason people call it “Hotel Death.” It’s seen more than its fair share of suicides and murders.

However, perhaps the most chilling unsolved mystery of all involves the case of Elisa Lam.

Crime Scene: Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel trailer

In 2013, while visiting L.A. with friends and staying at the hotel, 21-year-old Elisa Lam, a Canadian tourist, mysteriously vanished.

More than 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’s horrific enough, but what made this case so chilling was the elevator surveillance footage of Elisa in what was most likely her last moments alive.

At one point, she backs into the corner and stands very still, as if she’s trying to hide from someone. Then, she steps forward and leans into the hall and looks around as if to check if the coast is clear. At another point, she looks to be either talking with someone, or maybe trying to reason with them, or perhaps even engaging in an argument with somebody, except no one is there.

Well, no one that we can see. That’s why the video went viral in two communities: web detectives and paranormal investigators. Both had the same question: What is going on at the Cecil hotel?

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched the video of Elisa in the elevator. It always still induces goosebumps, though.

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

That’s what Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel is about: the mysterious case of Elisa Lam. Or, as they state in the trailer, “The latest chapter in a dark history for the Cecil Hotel.”

The series will feature interviews with hotel employees and guests, in addition to people involved with investigating the Elisa Lam case.

But it will also give an overall background of the Ceci hotel’s history. As creator and executive producer Joe Berlinger (Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tape) told Variety, he wants “to create a series that explores a particular location’s role in encouraging or abetting crime — or the perception thereof.”

There is no better place to start than the Cecil Hotel, and judging from the trailer he’ll examine all sides of the Elisa Lam case —including claims the hotel is haunted or cursed.

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel premieres on Netflix on February 10.

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