Chicks dig giant robots.
Respectfully Disagree, but I Still Love YouIt goes into a bit of the hotel's history during the first, and second episode, but the series is literally just dedicated to Elisa Lam. The former manager they interview basically just says that while hotel does have a dark history, it was not responsible in any way for Lam's death.
Honestly, the thing is just way, way too dragged out, and starts to feel a bit disrespectful after while with just how much it milks, and pads out the poor girl's death.
There were some overly dramatic, clickbaity parts, but there was also a good chunk of serious investigative work. I'm now a lot more inclined to believe the official story (which is just what (((they))) want!). There was quite a bit of information in it I wasn't aware of before. I'll try to lay out as much as I can here.
They discussed some of the hotel's history. It's right smack on Skid Row in LA, and has housed druggies and serial killers. It does have a dark history. But as the former manager said, that ultimately didn't have anything to do with what happened to Elisa Lam, and most of the focus was on her.
The show also covered some of the crazier conspiracy theories surrounding her death. And when I say crazy, I don't mean "this death seems suspicious and might have involved foul play". I mean Amanda Mullen tier crazy. Things like "there was a tuberculosis outbreak on Skid Row while Elisa Lam was staying there, and there's a tuberculosis test called LAM-ELISA, therefore Elisa Lam was a living biological weapon killed by the government for knowing too much!" (
Okay, now onto the serious part.
First, they did a pretty good job of tearing down the odd behavior of the elevator. Not Elisa IN the elevator, but the elevator itself. A guy actually went and tested it. He figured out that Elisa was most likely on floor 14 at the time, based on the fact that that light immediately went dark after she pressed it. This was the floor right below the roof. He also figured out that the Hold Door button was in the same row of buttons she pressed. He timed it, and it stayed open for two minutes. So that's why the elevator didn't close. He also found an access to the fire escape from the 14th floor, right out an unsecured window. From there, there's a fire escape ladder going to the roof. The regular door to the roof had an alarm, but that would've been easily bypassed through the fire escape.
Now, the door on top of the water tank. This was always the part that seemed most suspicious to me, because it would've been so hard for her to close it behind her. Well, that's because she didn't. The explanation turned out to be fairly mundane. The door was closed when the POLICE got there. But her body was first discovered by a MAINTENANCE WORKER, and he found the door OPEN. Meaning that he most likely closed it when he saw the floating, naked dead chick. I sure as hell would. Further, they showed the roof itself, and demonstrated that it would've been extraordinarily difficult for her to be carried up there by another person without causing obvious damage to her (ladders, tight spaces, etc). No such damage was found on her body.
Now, that being said, why the hell would she jump into a water tank? Well. Elisa wasn't just bipolar, she was EXTREMELY bipolar. She was on multiple meds, including an anti-psychotic.
Okay. Based on what I knew before, I thought the coroner's cause of death (accidental drowning) was just a lazy punt. But after seeing him interviewed, he struck me as a very sober and intelligent guy with sound logic for his conclusions. He reported that the toxicology showed no illicit substances in her body, but DID show her legitimate anti-crazy pills, in abnormally LOW quantities. In other words... she was off her meds. Side note, he also believes she undressed in the tank either to make treading water easier, or paradoxical undressing due to hypothermia.
Leading up to her death, she showed several other instances of extremely erratic behavior. She went to a live show, wrote a letter to one of the people involved, and insisted to security that it be delivered. She shouted weird things in the hotel lobby. She locked her roommates out of her room. She left them physical notes telling them to get out.
About the roommates. Nothing was said about who they were. I assume this was for privacy reasons, but I would've liked to know. In any case, she ended up being moved to a different room shortly before her death because she was being so disruptive to them.
Her family confirmed she had a history of delusions and hallucinations, especially when off her meds. She would often believe she was being chased by something, and look for a place to hide, like under a bed. Or, say... a water tank.
So a fairly plausible course of events is:
1.) Elisa goes off her meds.
2.) On the night of her death, she has some kind of episode.
3.) She goes to the elevator trying to escape something she believed was chasing her.
4.) It doesn't work as expected because she pressed the Door Hold button.
5.) She gives up on that and finds her way to the roof.
6.) She tries to hide in the water tank.
7.) She can't get back out because the water level is too low for her to reach the hatch.
Less spooky and more tragic, but I think it's what happened.
The only remaining bit of fuckery is the elevator video being edited. Nobody seems to know when, who, or why. But I don't think that's enough on its own to call conspiracy. The police investigator said he saw the original, unedited video on the hotel security system, and I don't really see any reason to doubt it.
So... mystery solved, question mark?