Cecil Hotel’s sober yet alluring disappearance of Elisa Lam

A sign to the side of the hotel states the average price and amount of rooms it has as a whole, but also displays the inferior quality and higher quantity of the establishment.

Photo Credit: Photo by Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons License.

A sign to the side of the hotel states the average price and amount of rooms it has as a whole, but also displays the inferior quality and higher quantity of the establishment.

By: Emma Nadella, Reporter

After watching the popular limited Netflix series, I found the story portraying Elisa Lam’s death after being in the Cecil Hotel in this documentary to be unfulfilling. Before her story begins in the grim Cecil Hotel, Elisa Lam was an expressive writer using social media. Tumblr was her preferred platform, she used it as a personal diary to share with the world around her. In some of her last posts before passing away, she wrote of how excited she was to visit California. It’s unfortunate however that she wasn’t able to continue her whimsical sightseeing.

A poor job by officers

In the documentary, the police officers were stopping constantly with walls in front of them. With what they were assuming to be misinformation, they kept trying to decipher and focus in on the video. Now this mentioned video was recording her minutes before she had disappeared. Even as police had the video, through people sharing and having it surf along the internet, it was catching the eyes of almost everyone in the world. From that sensation of watching the security video and finding how strange everything about it was, thousands of people online felt compelled to solve the strange precedence the video had to begin with, let alone her disappearance.

Bringing it back to the cops in charge of the case, I feel like they didn’t do the most that they could have done, or at least didn’t lead up properly to find her in time. During the first days of their investigation, they had opened all the rooms of the hotel. From that, they used a search dog to find her. By taking what was in her hotel room and showing it to the dog, they began their search. What happened that made me slightly aggravated, however, was that they said they picked up her scent and followed it up to the roof. The officer with the dog said that the scent stopped just outside of the door leading to the roof. From that, he chose to not go out onto the roof and check. That for me just became annoying as the documentary went on. If he would’ve checked, it could have resolved so much and could have saved Elisa Lam.

Overall, an eye-catching series

I liked how the complete story of her disappearance was so captivating for me. The only thing that was annoying to me was how the cops didn’t follow through and they should have. As they described the hotel, they brought up its dark history following up with her case. It added a suspense that would keep you in your seat as you watched it. It genuinely made you think that someone had killed her. That suspense was enough to hook someone in on trying to see what really happened to her after the police’s investigation. I wasn’t all too satisfied with the ending, but at least it gave her family closure and she still gets to live on through her posts online.

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