Elisa Lam Elevator Footage /// True Crime Garage Tv

88 comments

  • EeeBitch

    EeeBitch PeeTown, Orygun

    I think after watching this a couple of times, is that she's in a manic state. It looks like she is either; -Hoping that someone she sees will be getting into the elevator (love in an elevator), so she's stalling.. but, then -The corner hiding, the hands, the jumping like a frog into the corridor.. it just keeps speaking of manic state. She is either 'seeing' something, or .. Maybe - -she's being passive aggressive to hotel?... But. Then. Why & How did she die? Curious and Curiouser. I think she was in a state, and hallucinated herself into a big bathtub. Thanks for doing such a great service. I love the cut of ya'lls jib. Cheers! EeeBitch

    I think after watching this a couple of times, is that she's in a manic state. It looks like she is either;
    -Hoping that someone she sees will be getting into the elevator (love in an elevator), so she's stalling.. but, then
    -The corner hiding, the hands, the jumping like a frog into the corridor.. it just keeps speaking of manic state.
    She is either 'seeing' something, or ..
    Maybe -
    -she's being passive aggressive to hotel?...
    But. Then. Why & How did she die? Curious and Curiouser. I think she was in a state, and hallucinated herself into a big bathtub.
    Thanks for doing such a great service. I love the cut of ya'lls jib. Cheers!
    EeeBitch

  • Selina

    Selina D.C.

    I enjoyed listening to this episode as I do most all your episodes. I liked your thoughts on mental health and advocating kindness always matters 💜 I'm currently working on my psychology degree to do Art Therapy and be able to help others and can say kindness can really make all the difference for someone going through something. Looking forward to Part 2 of this mystery. I feel for this girl and wonder what happened.

    I enjoyed listening to this episode as I do most all your episodes. I liked your thoughts on mental health and advocating kindness always matters 💜 I'm currently working on my psychology degree to do Art Therapy and be able to help others and can say kindness can really make all the difference for someone going through something. Looking forward to Part 2 of this mystery. I feel for this girl and wonder what happened.

  • Mariniere

    Mariniere Vancouver

    Check out this bizarre Elisa Lam coincidence- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pt8lhNNk9So

    Check out this bizarre Elisa Lam coincidence-
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pt8lhNNk9So

  • GymChick

    GymChick

    I've heard about this video via a few other true crime podcasts but admittedly this is the first time I've seen it. I think the one thing that really sort of strikes me about this clip is that she doesn’t seem quite as terrified as some people have made her out to be in the past. In the first instance, when she enters the lift, she spends longer than she probably needs to studying the numbers before pressing one or in this case all of them. It seems almost as though she's high or drunk or given her history with medication and the miss-managing of it, like she’s off them. When she creeps out of the elevator to see if someone was coming, that does look a little creepy/odd, I’ll give you that. But in the back of my head I’m thinking “if someone’s chasing me, I wouldn’t be creeping out anywhere, I’d be banging on those call buttons, and doing anything and everything I could to be closing those doors.” There doesn’t seem to be that genuine fear there to me. It all seems a little delusional and paranoid. Its all very odd but doesn’t strike me as anything genuinely criminal. I don’t mean to take away from what she was feeling or experiencing at that point, as I’m sure it felt very real to her, but seeing that video, it doesn’t seem real to me. X

    I've heard about this video via a few other true crime podcasts but admittedly this is the first time I've seen it. I think the one thing that really sort of strikes me about this clip is that she doesn’t seem quite as terrified as some people have made her out to be in the past.

    In the first instance, when she enters the lift, she spends longer than she probably needs to studying the numbers before pressing one or in this case all of them. It seems almost as though she's high or drunk or given her history with medication and the miss-managing of it, like she’s off them. When she creeps out of the elevator to see if someone was coming, that does look a little creepy/odd, I’ll give you that. But in the back of my head I’m thinking “if someone’s chasing me, I wouldn’t be creeping out anywhere, I’d be banging on those call buttons, and doing anything and everything I could to be closing those doors.” There doesn’t seem to be that genuine fear there to me. It all seems a little delusional and paranoid. Its all very odd but doesn’t strike me as anything genuinely criminal.
    I don’t mean to take away from what she was feeling or experiencing at that point, as I’m sure it felt very real to her, but seeing that video, it doesn’t seem real to me. X

  • Anna

    Anna Austin TX

    I manage a hotel.... and you guys could not be more correct about people but will check into a room stay a few nights and then complain about everything so that they get the room for free!!! It literally drives me insane! But back to the case, at the beginning she sort of looked as if she was being playful with somebody.... popping in and out of the elevator door. When she was out in the hall doing that weird thing with her fingers it kind of looks like she was counting on her fingers You take one hand and you point to your first finger and say the number one and then you point to your second finger and say the number two and so on.... I am still trying to figure out how it took eight days to realize that there was a dead body in the hotels water tank!!!!

    I manage a hotel.... and you guys could not be more correct about people but will check into a room stay a few nights and then complain about everything so that they get the room for free!!! It literally drives me insane! But back to the case, at the beginning she sort of looked as if she was being playful with somebody.... popping in and out of the elevator door. When she was out in the hall doing that weird thing with her fingers it kind of looks like she was counting on her fingers You take one hand and you point to your first finger and say the number one and then you point to your second finger and say the number two and so on.... I am still trying to figure out how it took eight days to realize that there was a dead body in the hotels water tank!!!!

  • Albert

    Albert Melbourne Florida

    Last few seconds on videos... it appears to be edited. The door "begins " to close but video jumps. As if there was more to video but was taken out. Watch door when it closes. It's already a foot (1/2 foot ) closed.

    Last few seconds on videos... it appears to be edited. The door "begins " to close but video jumps. As if there was more to video but was taken out.

    Watch door when it closes. It's already a foot (1/2 foot ) closed.

  • Pauline

    Pauline Spain

    Looks like she's playing hide and seek to me.

    Looks like she's playing hide and seek to me.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous Fresno, CA

    Love the podcast, I recently found it on Google Play and have worked my way through most of the episodes. I listened to the latest podcast on Elisa Lam and I have some thoughts: This case has been discussed on other podcasts, and was extensively covered here in CA and there are some assumptions that are often made and some observations that are often missed. I grew up in a household with a schizophrenic family member, and more recently lived next door to someone with some very serious psychological issues that caused this person to have several psychological breaks when she went off her medication. I recognize many of the signs of schizophrenia. The video of Eliza in the elevator is especially telling of someone having a full schizophrenic break. The way Eliza moves quickly through seemingly normal and bizzare behaviour is reminiscent of my experience with my family member, especially the way Eliza seems to interact with an unseen person off camera. The captain made the comment that the video was disturbing upon watching it for the second time, again, this is reminiscent of my experiences with my ill family member: I witnessed similar perplexing behaviour that was disconcerting the more I thought about it, specifically the way this family member interacted with objects and people who were very "real" to them but entirely in their mind. In fact this is the main symptom of schizophrenia. There is an inability to discern between the reality in the mind of the person afflicted and the reality everyone else experiences. Eliza Lam had the misfortune of having her first schizophrenic break while she was on vacation on her own. Schizophrenia often manifests in sufferes for the first tIme in the early to twenties.

    Love the podcast, I recently found it on Google Play and have worked my way through most of the episodes.
    I listened to the latest podcast on Elisa Lam and I have some thoughts: This case has been discussed on other podcasts, and was extensively covered here in CA and there are some assumptions that are often made and some observations that are often missed. I grew up in a household with a schizophrenic family member, and more recently lived next door to someone with some very serious psychological issues that caused this person to have several psychological breaks when she went off her medication. I recognize many of the signs of schizophrenia. The video of Eliza in the elevator is especially telling of someone having a full schizophrenic break. The way Eliza moves quickly through seemingly normal and bizzare behaviour is reminiscent of my experience with my family member, especially the way Eliza seems to interact with an unseen person off camera. The captain made the comment that the video was disturbing upon watching it for the second time, again, this is reminiscent of my experiences with my ill family member: I witnessed similar perplexing behaviour that was disconcerting the more I thought about it, specifically the way this family member interacted with objects and people who were very "real" to them but entirely in their mind. In fact this is the main symptom of schizophrenia. There is an inability to discern between the reality in the mind of the person afflicted and the reality everyone else experiences. Eliza Lam had the misfortune of having her first schizophrenic break while she was on vacation on her own. Schizophrenia often manifests in sufferes for the first tIme in the early to twenties.

  • Sarah

    Sarah Montreal

    Whoa. I'm schizophrenic and that behaviour brought back memories. I'm not sure, but I think the thing with her hands might be similar to what I experienced when psychotic or having a severe anxiety attack: I would lose dexterity in my fingers and they would go very rigid. If I tried to flex them to regain control, it would have looked similar. Also, why does the elevator door take so long to close? That would have thoroughly freaked me out in that state. "They know where I am and won't let the door close!!! Run away!!!!"

    Whoa. I'm schizophrenic and that behaviour brought back memories. I'm not sure, but I think the thing with her hands might be similar to what I experienced when psychotic or having a severe anxiety attack: I would lose dexterity in my fingers and they would go very rigid. If I tried to flex them to regain control, it would have looked similar.

    Also, why does the elevator door take so long to close? That would have thoroughly freaked me out in that state. "They know where I am and won't let the door close!!! Run away!!!!"

  • Ronzo

    Ronzo Parts Unknown

    It's obvious to me that because the elevator isn't closing, she's trying to figure out why. She probably didn't know any other way to get back to her room. She's contemplating what to do next when she steps out of the elevator. At no point did she act spooked or scared.

    It's obvious to me that because the elevator isn't closing, she's trying to figure out why. She probably didn't know any other way to get back to her room. She's contemplating what to do next when she steps out of the elevator. At no point did she act spooked or scared.

  • Nat

    Nat San Diego Ca

    So it looks to me like the elevator door isn't closing. She waves her arms in between the door and stands outside of it. And you see it doesn't close until she walks away out of frame.

    So it looks to me like the elevator door isn't closing. She waves her arms in between the door and stands outside of it. And you see it doesn't close until she walks away out of frame.

  • Scott

    Scott UK

    Thank you both for a good Elisa Lam podcast. Captain, thank you in particular for sharing your mental health issues - public figures like yourself talking so openly about this, will remove the stigma around mental health far more rapidly than would otherwise happen. Thanks

    Thank you both for a good Elisa Lam podcast.
    Captain, thank you in particular for sharing your mental health issues - public figures like yourself talking so openly about this, will remove the stigma around mental health far more rapidly than would otherwise happen. Thanks

  • Michelle

    Michelle Illinois

    Her behavior is not consistent with a manic episode. I believe she was misdiagnosed as bipolar, when she appears to be suffering from schizophrenia. Unfortunately, the early stages of schizophrenia are similar to bipolar disorder. All of her actions in the video footage are schizophrenic, in nature, and this is what happens when this mental illness is not appropriately treated. Bipolar medication would have only calmed some of the symptoms, but would not have hidden them entirely. I wouldn't be surprised if this woman stopped taking the bipolar meds, as she would have continued to experience symptoms of schizophrenia and a disconnect from reality, making those meds useless in her mind. Regardless, the body language expert's thoughts on her movements were interesting.

    Her behavior is not consistent with a manic episode. I believe she was misdiagnosed as bipolar, when she appears to be suffering from schizophrenia. Unfortunately, the early stages of schizophrenia are similar to bipolar disorder. All of her actions in the video footage are schizophrenic, in nature, and this is what happens when this mental illness is not appropriately treated. Bipolar medication would have only calmed some of the symptoms, but would not have hidden them entirely. I wouldn't be surprised if this woman stopped taking the bipolar meds, as she would have continued to experience symptoms of schizophrenia and a disconnect from reality, making those meds useless in her mind.

    Regardless, the body language expert's thoughts on her movements were interesting.

  • Jennifer

    Jennifer Camby

    Maybe it is because I've worked with older adults with mental illness before but all of her actions read to me as someone in an acute paranoid/delusion phase, which can happen with people with bipolar. I wonder if she lost her medication or got off of her routine. Those medications have to be taken the exact same way at the exact same time otherwise there will be issues.

    Maybe it is because I've worked with older adults with mental illness before but all of her actions read to me as someone in an acute paranoid/delusion phase, which can happen with people with bipolar. I wonder if she lost her medication or got off of her routine. Those medications have to be taken the exact same way at the exact same time otherwise there will be issues.

  • Ken

    Ken Akron

    She must be on something

    She must be on something

  • Schatzi Girl

    Schatzi Girl Lakeside, CA

    My observation is influenced by the fact that she has a bipolar diagnosis and she has more pills in her prescription bottle than were prescribed. She looks like she is in her own world, possibly having a manic episode. And extra pills would lead me to believe she has not been taking her meds properly. Also reminds me of some of the homeless that you might see carrying on with what they believe they see that we don't. Not paranormal but mentally induced. Possibly someone sees this behavior and plays into what she is experiencing and lures her to take advantage of her and ultimately to her death. I don't know how DNA holds up after being in water like that either. And to be found in an area that isn't easily assessable and maybe only somewhere staff would be able to gain access. I would be interested to know if there were any police interviews done with the staff and what was said. This poor girl looks like she's is struggling with her mental illness and ran into someone who meant her harm. I also understand mental illness. I know that what we may be thinking isn't necessarily what is reality when we aren't dialed in with the right meds and coping skills. Sorry so long winded. Thanks, ❤ your show.

    My observation is influenced by the fact that she has a bipolar diagnosis and she has more pills in her prescription bottle than were prescribed. She looks like she is in her own world, possibly having a manic episode. And extra pills would lead me to believe she has not been taking her meds properly. Also reminds me of some of the homeless that you might see carrying on with what they believe they see that we don't. Not paranormal but mentally induced. Possibly someone sees this behavior and plays into what she is experiencing and lures her to take advantage of her and ultimately to her death. I don't know how DNA holds up after being in water like that either. And to be found in an area that isn't easily assessable and maybe only somewhere staff would be able to gain access. I would be interested to know if there were any police interviews done with the staff and what was said. This poor girl looks like she's is struggling with her mental illness and ran into someone who meant her harm. I also understand mental illness. I know that what we may be thinking isn't necessarily what is reality when we aren't dialed in with the right meds and coping skills. Sorry so long winded. Thanks, ❤ your show.

  • Michelle

    Michelle Phoenix

    I think she may have been having a psychotic break. With all her meds she had in her backpack and just the way she was acting in the elevator.

    I think she may have been having a psychotic break. With all her meds she had in her backpack and just the way she was acting in the elevator.

  • Amy

    Amy Frederick, MD

    I think she was deliberately delaying the elevator in hope that someone would enter it with her. A staged coincidental meeting. Maybe someone she saw in the lobby. The weird hand movements - American Sign Language? Tai Chi hand movements?

    I think she was deliberately delaying the elevator in hope that someone would enter it with her. A staged coincidental meeting. Maybe someone she saw in the lobby.
    The weird hand movements - American Sign Language? Tai Chi hand movements?

  • Justine

    Justine Australia

    I see a playful girl step into an elevator press lots of buttons then moves to the side then hides as she knows what she has done is cheeky. She then expects he lift doors to close. When they don't she is confused and thinks someone is outside pressing the call button preventing the doors from closing. She investigates and no one is there. She attempts to get the lift moving by pressing more buttons. The failure of the doors to close makes her think the lift doors is sensing something so she moves her hands where she thinks the sensors are. Failure of the lift doors to close makes her in her erratic state believe something is there that she can't see. Then her moving out of the lift and looking around and either talking or gesturing to something is signs of her believing an invisible person is there. This behaviour fits with other guests complaining of her strange behaviour. I don't see her scared but rather displaying erratic behaviour which could have continued and be an explanation as to why she would go into the water tank.

    I see a playful girl step into an elevator press lots of buttons then moves to the side then hides as she knows what she has done is cheeky. She then expects he lift doors to close. When they don't she is confused and thinks someone is outside pressing the call button preventing the doors from closing. She investigates and no one is there. She attempts to get the lift moving by pressing more buttons. The failure of the doors to close makes her think the lift doors is sensing something so she moves her hands where she thinks the sensors are. Failure of the lift doors to close makes her in her erratic state believe something is there that she can't see. Then her moving out of the lift and looking around and either talking or gesturing to something is signs of her believing an invisible person is there. This behaviour fits with other guests complaining of her strange behaviour. I don't see her scared but rather displaying erratic behaviour which could have continued and be an explanation as to why she would go into the water tank.

  • Tanner

    Tanner

    When I watched the video, there was no question in my mind that she was playing around. I thought to myself right away, "oh she's just being goofy." I seen a clear smile when she was inside the elevator. As an young introverted person with Asian decent myself, I have also been known to play out scenarios that are in my head. She seemed to be in a good mood and I think she was just acting out a scene. When I then heard Jack Brown's assessment, it was like a light bulb in my head going from dim to shimmering bright. It lined up perfectly with what I originally thought about the video. I hadn't thought of her showing signs of displaying herself for someone she admired, but I see it as a real possibility. To me, there is no chance that somebody is outside talking to her. She seems to be the type of person that would never display this type of behavior is someone was around or if she knew she was being watched. She is talking to herself in this imagined scenario she has going. Given Jack Brown's thought of her showing signals of a liking towards someone, and the fact that she is playing this scenario within the hotel. I conclude that she is acting out a scene in her head of someone she recently met inside the hotel who she now has a crush on. Perhaps she met this person again and they took advantage of her fondness towards them. My crazy yet possible explanation: She met a hotel staff member who she grew to admire. They talked her in to helping them investigate the water complaints (since there were water complaints before her death) and she went up with them willingly. This would also explain how she accessed the roof. Perhaps they told her they needed a smaller person to look into the tank because they were too big. The suspect was up there near the top of the tank with her guiding her and telling her what to look for, while her upper torso was looking into the tank, attempting to troubleshoot the issue. The person up there with her managed to push the bottom half of her body through the opening along with the rest of her body and closed the hatch on her. This would explain why there is no evidence of foul play. It wouldn't take a big struggle or force to simply push the rest of her body into the tank. And I do agree with the theory that she had to shed her clothing in attempts to keep afloat. Some would say though, where is the motive? Sometimes psychopaths don't need to have a motive. This was a senseless murder. Why hasn't the hotel staff been looked at? If the hotel is known for being a crime hot spot, do you really think that is just by coincidence? It seems lazy and irresponsible to write this off as "accidental." Nobody accidentally submerges and drowns themselves in a water tank on a roof. I don't care what kind of mental state a person is in. This is sad, she seemed to be a kind spirit. Regards, Nebraska boy with a keen sense of detail

    When I watched the video, there was no question in my mind that she was playing around. I thought to myself right away, "oh she's just being goofy." I seen a clear smile when she was inside the elevator. As an young introverted person with Asian decent myself, I have also been known to play out scenarios that are in my head. She seemed to be in a good mood and I think she was just acting out a scene. When I then heard Jack Brown's assessment, it was like a light bulb in my head going from dim to shimmering bright. It lined up perfectly with what I originally thought about the video. I hadn't thought of her showing signs of displaying herself for someone she admired, but I see it as a real possibility. To me, there is no chance that somebody is outside talking to her. She seems to be the type of person that would never display this type of behavior is someone was around or if she knew she was being watched. She is talking to herself in this imagined scenario she has going. Given Jack Brown's thought of her showing signals of a liking towards someone, and the fact that she is playing this scenario within the hotel. I conclude that she is acting out a scene in her head of someone she recently met inside the hotel who she now has a crush on. Perhaps she met this person again and they took advantage of her fondness towards them.

    My crazy yet possible explanation:
    She met a hotel staff member who she grew to admire. They talked her in to helping them investigate the water complaints (since there were water complaints before her death) and she went up with them willingly. This would also explain how she accessed the roof. Perhaps they told her they needed a smaller person to look into the tank because they were too big. The suspect was up there near the top of the tank with her guiding her and telling her what to look for, while her upper torso was looking into the tank, attempting to troubleshoot the issue. The person up there with her managed to push the bottom half of her body through the opening along with the rest of her body and closed the hatch on her. This would explain why there is no evidence of foul play. It wouldn't take a big struggle or force to simply push the rest of her body into the tank. And I do agree with the theory that she had to shed her clothing in attempts to keep afloat.

    Some would say though, where is the motive? Sometimes psychopaths don't need to have a motive. This was a senseless murder. Why hasn't the hotel staff been looked at? If the hotel is known for being a crime hot spot, do you really think that is just by coincidence? It seems lazy and irresponsible to write this off as "accidental." Nobody accidentally submerges and drowns themselves in a water tank on a roof. I don't care what kind of mental state a person is in.

    This is sad, she seemed to be a kind spirit.

    Regards,
    Nebraska boy with a keen sense of detail

  • Rachael

    Rachael Omaha

    If she got into the tank on her own, maybe she couldn't get back out when she was trying or the water level went down while she was in there...

    If she got into the tank on her own, maybe she couldn't get back out when she was trying or the water level went down while she was in there...

  • Casey

    Casey Little Rock, AR

    Really enjoy the show. Just wanted to offer a little clarification about the ladder and the fire department actions discussed in this case. LAFD actually does still use wooden ladders, along with San Francisco and a small handful of other departments. However, the ladder shown in the pictures is not a fire department ladder, it is a small A-frame ladder that would be common for any maintenance department at a commercial building like a hotel. Also, the USAR team was there since the recovery of the body inside the tank is considered a confined space operation and requires specialized training and certification that typical firefighter do not have. Tragic story, but I believe it was an accidental death. Thanks for putting out great shows consistently, guys.

    Really enjoy the show. Just wanted to offer a little clarification about the ladder and the fire department actions discussed in this case. LAFD actually does still use wooden ladders, along with San Francisco and a small handful of other departments. However, the ladder shown in the pictures is not a fire department ladder, it is a small A-frame ladder that would be common for any maintenance department at a commercial building like a hotel.

    Also, the USAR team was there since the recovery of the body inside the tank is considered a confined space operation and requires specialized training and certification that typical firefighter do not have.

    Tragic story, but I believe it was an accidental death. Thanks for putting out great shows consistently, guys.

  • lawbster

    lawbster parts unkown

    Just wanted to support to the positive feedback to the Captain particularly for his honest discussion of his own bout with depression. Adding to the frank and open discussion on this debilitating condition can only help others who face it. Thank you.

    Just wanted to support to the positive feedback to the Captain particularly for his honest discussion of his own bout with depression. Adding to the frank and open discussion on this debilitating condition can only help others who face it. Thank you.

  • Leah

    Leah Baltimore

    I've very curious with the popularity of this case, why haven't the people who shared the room with her come forward to say anything specific about her behavior?

    I've very curious with the popularity of this case, why haven't the people who shared the room with her come forward to say anything specific about her behavior?

  • Steve

    Steve Cincinnati, OH

    Hey, good work covering this case. I've thought about the murder/suicide piece and I always get stuck on these questions... What position was the body in when it was found in the water tank? What position was the lid of the tank in when the guy found the body? If the lid were in the standard closed position and she was feet up/head down in the lid, that would imply another person being there. If the lid were ajar, then I'd lean toward suicide. If the lid were on in the proper closed position and she was floating head/breast up, then I'll just leave this to smarter people.

    Hey, good work covering this case. I've thought about the murder/suicide piece and I always get stuck on these questions...

    What position was the body in when it was found in the water tank? What position was the lid of the tank in when the guy found the body? If the lid were in the standard closed position and she was feet up/head down in the lid, that would imply another person being there. If the lid were ajar, then I'd lean toward suicide. If the lid were on in the proper closed position and she was floating head/breast up, then I'll just leave this to smarter people.

  • Christina

    Christina Columbus

    Actually, her elevator behavior is only disturbing because she died. I bet if we sample footage of random people in elevators we would see similarly strange, playful and even mischievous sorts of behaviors, particularly from younger adults. It might not be the norm, but I bet we would see at least a few episodes of people behaving in what would seem like an odd or playful manner. She looks out the elevator door because she either wants to make sure that she is not being watched or because she does not want to shut the door on anyone who might be coming down the hall. Maybe she hears something or hopes that someone will come, and is orchestrating a meeting. Pressing the buttons could be stalling for time or simply a mischievous trick. Even her series of crazy hand gestures is actually Tai Chi or Qigong (while some of it looks strange, there are some definite and formal gestures of this nature in the mix). She does not even look manic to me. She just looks like a girl who is bored, lonely and perhaps a bit immature, having a little bit of fun without realizing that cameras are trained on her or that people might actually see the resulting footage (just because you are being filmed does not mean that people will actually watch it). Her actions are strange and disturbing only in retrospect, because the context that we have for the activity is her death. We do not have the context for how she normally behaved in her solitary time, what her plans for the day were, or even what sort of media she had consumed that day. Maybe there was a song going through her head, maybe she was watching Kung fu movies all morning. She might have simply wandered onto the roof because she was bored and wanted to explore.

    Actually, her elevator behavior is only disturbing because she died. I bet if we sample footage of random people in elevators we would see similarly strange, playful and even mischievous sorts of behaviors, particularly from younger adults. It might not be the norm, but I bet we would see at least a few episodes of people behaving in what would seem like an odd or playful manner. She looks out the elevator door because she either wants to make sure that she is not being watched or because she does not want to shut the door on anyone who might be coming down the hall. Maybe she hears something or hopes that someone will come, and is orchestrating a meeting. Pressing the buttons could be stalling for time or simply a mischievous trick. Even her series of crazy hand gestures is actually Tai Chi or Qigong (while some of it looks strange, there are some definite and formal gestures of this nature in the mix). She does not even look manic to me. She just looks like a girl who is bored, lonely and perhaps a bit immature, having a little bit of fun without realizing that cameras are trained on her or that people might actually see the resulting footage (just because you are being filmed does not mean that people will actually watch it). Her actions are strange and disturbing only in retrospect, because the context that we have for the activity is her death. We do not have the context for how she normally behaved in her solitary time, what her plans for the day were, or even what sort of media she had consumed that day. Maybe there was a song going through her head, maybe she was watching Kung fu movies all morning. She might have simply wandered onto the roof because she was bored and wanted to explore.

  • Desiree

    Desiree CA

    I think that she is really confused about why the elevator is not working. her reaction seems like she is trying to figure out why the doors are not closing and trying to get them to close. People do weird things when they are alone and on top of that she was an odd person.

    I think that she is really confused about why the elevator is not working. her reaction seems like she is trying to figure out why the doors are not closing and trying to get them to close. People do weird things when they are alone and on top of that she was an odd person.

  • Christina

    Christina Columbus

    My guess-- She is hoping to bump into someone that she met or would like to meet. She is delaying the elevator as much as possible in anticipation of this person's arrival down the hall. She may even want to orchestrate this meeting based on her knowledge of his location in the building. He might not even know of her interest. Her antics are due to the fact that she is waiting and does not have anything better to do, that no one is watching her, and perhaps due to a desire to stall the elevator or even to play some sort of prank. She preens her hair, does a box step or two, some tai-chi or qigong-- all choreographed and non random movements. She is acting goofy, but this is not out of line with a normal 20-something year-old in hopes of meeting someone who interests her. She may be essentially trying to control the movements of this person, but this is unclear. Whether she actually met this other person or not is of course unknown. If she was successful, he may have participated in her death or at least know how she ended up in the tank. Maybe, this was simply some sort of accident that no one is talking about (it would be relevant to know if the tank was used recreationally/clandestinely by staff or long term guests.) However, it is also possible that she encountered other hall traffic or simply grew tired of waiting and decided to do something else until another opportunity arose to interact with this individual. It is possible that being in an adventurous mood, she went to the roof and decided to check out the water tank. She may have even wanted to play some sort of prank. She was tampering with the elevator, why not tamper with the water tank.

    My guess-- She is hoping to bump into someone that she met or would like to meet. She is delaying the elevator as much as possible in anticipation of this person's arrival down the hall. She may even want to orchestrate this meeting based on her knowledge of his location in the building. He might not even know of her interest. Her antics are due to the fact that she is waiting and does not have anything better to do, that no one is watching her, and perhaps due to a desire to stall the elevator or even to play some sort of prank. She preens her hair, does a box step or two, some tai-chi or qigong-- all choreographed and non random movements. She is acting goofy, but this is not out of line with a normal 20-something year-old in hopes of meeting someone who interests her. She may be essentially trying to control the movements of this person, but this is unclear. Whether she actually met this other person or not is of course unknown. If she was successful, he may have participated in her death or at least know how she ended up in the tank. Maybe, this was simply some sort of accident that no one is talking about (it would be relevant to know if the tank was used recreationally/clandestinely by staff or long term guests.) However, it is also possible that she encountered other hall traffic or simply grew tired of waiting and decided to do something else until another opportunity arose to interact with this individual. It is possible that being in an adventurous mood, she went to the roof and decided to check out the water tank. She may have even wanted to play some sort of prank. She was tampering with the elevator, why not tamper with the water tank.

  • Melissa

    Melissa Colorado

    Looks to me she keeps looking for employees while pushing the buttons so she doesn't get caught ... and can I just say how sick that guests were showering & possibly drinking water from the bathroom faucet !(I know I have when hungover & desperate in the am!) and a body was floating in that water for weeks!

    Looks to me she keeps looking for employees while pushing the buttons so she doesn't get caught ... and can I just say how sick that guests were showering & possibly drinking water from the bathroom faucet !(I know I have when hungover & desperate in the am!) and a body was floating in that water for weeks!

  • Agent Summer

    Agent Summer Minneapolis, MN

    This video is really odd. My initial reaction was that she is having a manic episode. Perhaps the video is her gradual breakdown into that state, as she seems fairly normal at first upon entering. However, her crouched position and pressing multiple numbers makes me think there was some confusion. If she was starting to enter a manic episode combined with the fact that she'd just been given a different room, she could have just started pushing buttons with the intention of checking every floor until she found her room. However, when the elevator didn't move, it just increased her anxiety, causing her to slip deeper into a manic state. When she flails her hands and appears to be talking to someone, it could be her way of trying to get someone to help her get the elevator to work, trying to motion to someone in the hallway that she needs help, or simply talking to someone who does not exist except for in her mind. Eventually, she wonders off in frustration or in a full manic state. However, I watched it again, and can totally see the "elevator tag" version playing out. It's really odd. Have to throw this out there, though. What is Elisa got confused due to the room change, pressed buttons in hopes of remembering the floor when she got there, but then the elevator didn't work. Not sure how close the front desk was to the elevators, but she could be calling out to them to help get the elevator to work. When she waits around (likely after being told "we'll be with you in a minute" as they helped someone else) and gets frustrated, she eventually decides to leave. If that's the case, could it be possible this entire video is a red herring? I mean...she could have wondered off and met someone who ends up murdering her after this, and this video has nothing to do with anything! No matter if it was result of a manic episode or murder, it's really tragic.

    This video is really odd. My initial reaction was that she is having a manic episode. Perhaps the video is her gradual breakdown into that state, as she seems fairly normal at first upon entering. However, her crouched position and pressing multiple numbers makes me think there was some confusion. If she was starting to enter a manic episode combined with the fact that she'd just been given a different room, she could have just started pushing buttons with the intention of checking every floor until she found her room. However, when the elevator didn't move, it just increased her anxiety, causing her to slip deeper into a manic state. When she flails her hands and appears to be talking to someone, it could be her way of trying to get someone to help her get the elevator to work, trying to motion to someone in the hallway that she needs help, or simply talking to someone who does not exist except for in her mind. Eventually, she wonders off in frustration or in a full manic state.

    However, I watched it again, and can totally see the "elevator tag" version playing out. It's really odd.

    Have to throw this out there, though. What is Elisa got confused due to the room change, pressed buttons in hopes of remembering the floor when she got there, but then the elevator didn't work. Not sure how close the front desk was to the elevators, but she could be calling out to them to help get the elevator to work. When she waits around (likely after being told "we'll be with you in a minute" as they helped someone else) and gets frustrated, she eventually decides to leave. If that's the case, could it be possible this entire video is a red herring? I mean...she could have wondered off and met someone who ends up murdering her after this, and this video has nothing to do with anything!

    No matter if it was result of a manic episode or murder, it's really tragic.

  • Tiffany D

    Tiffany D Nashville

    Have you ever argued with someone in a manic state? It's almost like they know yet they don't know what's going on. That's what it looks like here.

    Have you ever argued with someone in a manic state? It's almost like they know yet they don't know what's going on. That's what it looks like here.

  • Jaxboy

    Jaxboy Pittsboro, NC

    easy. someone is there buttons-game corner-hiding, waiting for them to get on see her shuffle her feet, they came out of where they were hiding and scared her. shuffle back-game, gaming them on the elevator hands in hair-talking to them see her smile when she comes back into the elevator, clearly she has connected with them more hand movements, game to get them on the elevator. they leave, she follows. simple you all are reading to much into it.

    easy. someone is there
    buttons-game
    corner-hiding, waiting for them to get on
    see her shuffle her feet, they came out of where they were hiding and scared her.
    shuffle back-game, gaming them on the elevator
    hands in hair-talking to them
    see her smile when she comes back into the elevator, clearly she has connected with them
    more hand movements, game to get them on the elevator. they leave, she follows. simple
    you all are reading to much into it.

  • Tami

    Tami

    Looks like she might be waiting for someone? Pressing buttons on the elevator to keep it from leaving?

    Looks like she might be waiting for someone? Pressing buttons on the elevator to keep it from leaving?

  • Mark

    Mark Austin

    She gives the impression of delaying the elevator in hopes of someone else joining her on it. It looks like stalling. Almost like watching a small child playing.

    She gives the impression of delaying the elevator in hopes of someone else joining her on it. It looks like stalling. Almost like watching a small child playing.

  • R

    R Parts Unknown

    Glad you guys touched on this one. In the end, i believe she had a manic/psychotic episode and climbed into the tank on her own. I'm going to address some points of contention that people bring up about this simplified explanation. Her appearance on video is what has sparked most peoples' interest in this case- she appears playful to me, perhaps anxious; but not terrified. The door holds open because the bottom center button she presses at the beginning is a 'door hold' button which holds the door open for a significant amount of time. Her strange movements are only to ensure that the door stays open while she watches the hallway. As for the roof- there were ways to access the roof such as a fire escape without alerting security. It is doubtful the alarm on the door is even working as intended. There were no barriers for entry on the water tank- the hatch is not as people describe it (too heavy to lift) why would it be too heavy for one person to lift? that would be paradoxical design. The parents and their lawyer agree with this explanation of a mental episode by the way. Their lawsuit accepts it. However, if we've discovered anything it's that the security for this place is a joke! They have active cameras (but also some that are inactive..), yet these active cameras have such garbled time-coding that it is completely unintelligible and thus useless for any security or legal purpose! It is also possible that the camera system records at a different speed. They have a warning that the door alarm sounds if the roof is accessed, but some one tested this door and it sounded no alarms- even if this alarm worked there was reportedly a fire escape that could be used to access the roof undetected anyway. Cecil hotel, now the Stay on Main is shady as shit and no one should be staying there if they value their safety. I don't mean to feed (frankly idiotic) conspiracy theories surrounding this popular case. But one final note to the hosts and interested readers: The video feed appears to have been manipulated in more way than one. Check out this video by Cody Fry on youtube who edits the video to align it with a more realistic speed. https://youtu.be/1YO4QbaNDjI

    Glad you guys touched on this one. In the end, i believe she had a manic/psychotic episode and climbed into the tank on her own. I'm going to address some points of contention that people bring up about this simplified explanation. Her appearance on video is what has sparked most peoples' interest in this case- she appears playful to me, perhaps anxious; but not terrified. The door holds open because the bottom center button she presses at the beginning is a 'door hold' button which holds the door open for a significant amount of time. Her strange movements are only to ensure that the door stays open while she watches the hallway. As for the roof- there were ways to access the roof such as a fire escape without alerting security. It is doubtful the alarm on the door is even working as intended. There were no barriers for entry on the water tank- the hatch is not as people describe it (too heavy to lift) why would it be too heavy for one person to lift? that would be paradoxical design.

    The parents and their lawyer agree with this explanation of a mental episode by the way. Their lawsuit accepts it. However, if we've discovered anything it's that the security for this place is a joke! They have active cameras (but also some that are inactive..), yet these active cameras have such garbled time-coding that it is completely unintelligible and thus useless for any security or legal purpose! It is also possible that the camera system records at a different speed. They have a warning that the door alarm sounds if the roof is accessed, but some one tested this door and it sounded no alarms- even if this alarm worked there was reportedly a fire escape that could be used to access the roof undetected anyway. Cecil hotel, now the Stay on Main is shady as shit and no one should be staying there if they value their safety.

    I don't mean to feed (frankly idiotic) conspiracy theories surrounding this popular case. But one final note to the hosts and interested readers: The video feed appears to have been manipulated in more way than one. Check out this video by Cody Fry on youtube who edits the video to align it with a more realistic speed. https://youtu.be/1YO4QbaNDjI

  • Amy

    Amy Utah

    Does she keep pushing the same pattern on the buttons, like skipping one before the bottom? Like the open door button because that damn door stays open for a long time. Seeing the rigid finger thing too now, and the hand signs. I think if someone was there, we would have seen them or a shadow or more interaction. It was her reality, makes me wish I could have talked to her and maybe got her some help.

    Does she keep pushing the same pattern on the buttons, like skipping one before the bottom? Like the open door button because that damn door stays open for a long time. Seeing the rigid finger thing too now, and the hand signs. I think if someone was there, we would have seen them or a shadow or more interaction. It was her reality, makes me wish I could have talked to her and maybe got her some help.

  • Ped73

    Ped73 Kansas

    Love to hear you explain your history with mental health treatment. Your sharing helps others to talk and seek help. Think your spot on with this case. Excessive Alcohol or even caffeine use with psychotropic medication can wash medication out of the body. Meaning even if she was taking the medication it may not have been working. Which could lead to any number of other issues. Really enjoy the show.

    Love to hear you explain your history with mental health treatment. Your sharing helps others to talk and seek help. Think your spot on with this case. Excessive Alcohol or even caffeine use with psychotropic medication can wash medication out of the body. Meaning even if she was taking the medication it may not have been working. Which could lead to any number of other issues. Really enjoy the show.

  • Laura

    Laura Lake Charles, LA

    I agree that it appears she is in a manic state, or waiting for someone.

    I agree that it appears she is in a manic state, or waiting for someone.

  • Witter Bug

    Witter Bug Parts Unknown

    Why does she have to press the elevator buttons the second time. Seems odd to me...

    Why does she have to press the elevator buttons the second time. Seems odd to me...

  • KIMBERLY

    KIMBERLY IL

    I looked at the elevator panel and the bottom button in the row that she selected all floors is a door hold button. I believe because she did not wear her glasses she could not see the floor numbers and hit all the buttons and was not aware she hit the door hold button. I think her actions are her trying to figure out why the elevator is not moving and trying to avoid a possible sensor that she believes is holding the door open. Also I believe when she "jumps out of the elevator" that her shoe caught and that would explain her looking to the right and left, to make sure no one had seen her almost fall. I also think that she exhibits tendencies of someone who has ADHD and anxiety. But the poor eyesight would explain much of her movement.

    I looked at the elevator panel and the bottom button in the row that she selected all floors is a door hold button. I believe because she did not wear her glasses she could not see the floor numbers and hit all the buttons and was not aware she hit the door hold button. I think her actions are her trying to figure out why the elevator is not moving and trying to avoid a possible sensor that she believes is holding the door open. Also I believe when she "jumps out of the elevator" that her shoe caught and that would explain her looking to the right and left, to make sure no one had seen her almost fall. I also think that she exhibits tendencies of someone who has ADHD and anxiety. But the poor eyesight would explain much of her movement.

  • Devin

    Devin Minneapolis MN

    I've looked into this in the past and I definitely think she was in a manic state. She's on her own in a strange place, and in a very weird hotel within that strange place. With that said, I think it's worth noting that the video is clearly cut/edited at about the 2:50 mark, right before the doors close--I haven't heard any references to this but you can clearly tell it's been edited by watching the seconds on the timestamp. Also, super weird that there is a Japanese movie (Dark Water) with crazy similarities, and even a character in said movie that wears nearly an identical outfit.

    I've looked into this in the past and I definitely think she was in a manic state. She's on her own in a strange place, and in a very weird hotel within that strange place. With that said, I think it's worth noting that the video is clearly cut/edited at about the 2:50 mark, right before the doors close--I haven't heard any references to this but you can clearly tell it's been edited by watching the seconds on the timestamp.

    Also, super weird that there is a Japanese movie (Dark Water) with crazy similarities, and even a character in said movie that wears nearly an identical outfit.

  • Tim

    Tim Chino Hills, Ca

    Great episode. I think you guys had a great assessment of the case. My heart goes out to the Lam family. For all those from parts unknown and beyond, let me just say as a life long Californian, when you come to Los Angeles as a tourist, do not stay three blocks from Skidrow. Los Angeles is 50 miles across and the 2 square miles of downtown this hotel is located in is not representative of what people would want to visit LA to see. The reality is that Ms. Lam may have been acting how she was out of bordem, because it is just not safe to wonder very far from the hotel during the day or the night. LA does not have cab service like NY. The shopping mall at the bottom of one of the high rides downtown, closes at 7 when most in the city stay open until 10. Richard Ramirez stayed in this hotel, because he was a homeless burglar who spent most his time on Skidrow. If you travel to LA, stay in a Beach area or an area associated with movie studios or TV stations like Burbank. If you want to go cheap, stay in Orange County near Disneyland a mere 15 miles from the Cecil Hotel. You will find these areas to be more representative of the Los Angeles known around the world. Downtown is simply the wholesale and financial district during the day and where the cities' disenfranchised are left. You can always visit the Staple Center, which is its own little onclave, if you want to experience downtown. I am sure the Captian will be playing there someday soon. Tim

    Great episode. I think you guys had a great assessment of the case.
    My heart goes out to the Lam family.

    For all those from parts unknown and beyond, let me just say as a life long Californian, when you come to Los Angeles as a tourist, do not stay three blocks from Skidrow. Los Angeles is 50 miles across and the 2 square miles of downtown this hotel is located in is not representative of what people would want to visit LA to see. The reality is that Ms. Lam may have been acting how she was out of bordem, because it is just not safe to wonder very far from the hotel during the day or the night. LA does not have cab service like NY. The shopping mall at the bottom of one of the high rides downtown, closes at 7 when most in the city stay open until 10. Richard Ramirez stayed in this hotel, because he was a homeless burglar who spent most his time on Skidrow.

    If you travel to LA, stay in a Beach area or an area associated with movie studios or TV stations like Burbank. If you want to go cheap, stay in Orange County near Disneyland a mere 15 miles from the Cecil Hotel. You will find these areas to be more representative of the Los Angeles known around the world. Downtown is simply the wholesale and financial district during the day and where the cities' disenfranchised are left. You can always visit the Staple Center, which is its own little onclave, if you want to experience downtown. I am sure the Captian will be playing there someday soon.

    Tim

  • Annie

    Annie NC

    Can anyone explain that ... incredibly odd placement of "a" foot (I thought it was hers but honestly at this point I've almost convinced myself that would be physically impossible unless her left leg was completely out of the hip socket) right before she walks off to the left? Check it out starting around 2:30 mark - that foot pushes off at 2:37 and does NOT look like it could be hers, based solely on the placement and the positioning of her other leg and foot just seconds before. Am I crazy here?!

    Can anyone explain that ... incredibly odd placement of "a" foot (I thought it was hers but honestly at this point I've almost convinced myself that would be physically impossible unless her left leg was completely out of the hip socket) right before she walks off to the left? Check it out starting around 2:30 mark - that foot pushes off at 2:37 and does NOT look like it could be hers, based solely on the placement and the positioning of her other leg and foot just seconds before. Am I crazy here?!

  • Maija P.

    Maija P. Toronto

    It seems fairly clear to me that she is having a manic/psychotic episode. She appears to be very planned or deliberate with the pressing of the buttons as though she has an agenda; a) wants to screw up the elevator and stall it so that no other people can use it, b) wants to wait for something or someone to come into the hallway, c) is clearly communicating with something to the right of the elevator door out of our sight line and more than likely not visible to us due to her state of mind ie) hallucination nearing the end of the tape d) steps out of the elevator after pressing the buttons the first time and stands to the left of the doorway, she appears to be playing with her hair while "waiting" for something e) When she first steps in the elevator and presses all the buttons her body language suggests that she's being sneaky, as though she's playing a game. I also agree with you guys that she's dealing with a very old elevator and knows that this is the way to stall it. Love your show and look forward the part 2. Maija

    It seems fairly clear to me that she is having a manic/psychotic episode. She appears to be very planned or deliberate with the pressing of the buttons as though she has an agenda;

    a) wants to screw up the elevator and stall it so that no other people can use it,
    b) wants to wait for something or someone to come into the hallway,
    c) is clearly communicating with something to the right of the elevator door out of our sight line and more than likely not visible to us due to her state of mind ie) hallucination nearing the end of the tape
    d) steps out of the elevator after pressing the buttons the first time and stands to the left of the doorway, she appears to be playing with her hair while "waiting" for something
    e) When she first steps in the elevator and presses all the buttons her body language suggests that she's being sneaky, as though she's playing a game.

    I also agree with you guys that she's dealing with a very old elevator and knows that this is the way to stall it.

    Love your show and look forward the part 2.

    Maija

  • Johnny

    Johnny Usa

    What I'm wondering here is, what if someone is after her? Maybe she was thinking if I push all the buttons they won't know what floor I went to and I can get away. Then the doors don't close so she looks out to see if they are still trying to find her. Then she peeks out again to see if they are coming and they spot her and threaten her. I do agree that carrying her up a ladder and pushing her into the tank would be hard but it could be done. Also what if the person had a gun and made her get in knowing she may not be able to reach the hatch to get back out. If there was someone there they did know about the camera system in the hotel though. Just my thoughts

    What I'm wondering here is, what if someone is after her? Maybe she was thinking if I push all the buttons they won't know what floor I went to and I can get away. Then the doors don't close so she looks out to see if they are still trying to find her. Then she peeks out again to see if they are coming and they spot her and threaten her. I do agree that carrying her up a ladder and pushing her into the tank would be hard but it could be done. Also what if the person had a gun and made her get in knowing she may not be able to reach the hatch to get back out. If there was someone there they did know about the camera system in the hotel though. Just my thoughts

  • Chelsea

    Chelsea Canada

    I think everyone is forgetting how elevators usually work: By pressing all the buttons to each floor it does NOT keep the elevator doors open or keep her waiting longer on the floor she's on, it only means the elevator will go to each of those floors next. There is always a button to keep the door open and a button to immediately close the door but they don't light up. Like they talk about in the podcast, someone could be pressing the button in the hallway, which would likely keep the doors open. It's almost as if she can hear something or someone in the hall. But if she's trying to get away from someone, pressing every floor button wouldn't help her. If it was me I'd want to go to my room immediately or to front desk immediately, not to every floor as I travel on the elevator. Captain kind of covers that logic. I agree that there could be someone she's talking to in the hall that's messing with her. But then I would expect laughter if it was a friend she was goofing around with. She doesn't look afraid - she looks more goofy, like she's singing a song and dancing or pretending - than she does afraid of who's coming. What's creepy is that she's hiding, she seems confused about how an elevator works, and her physical movements seem unnatural.

    I think everyone is forgetting how elevators usually work: By pressing all the buttons to each floor it does NOT keep the elevator doors open or keep her waiting longer on the floor she's on, it only means the elevator will go to each of those floors next. There is always a button to keep the door open and a button to immediately close the door but they don't light up. Like they talk about in the podcast, someone could be pressing the button in the hallway, which would likely keep the doors open.
    It's almost as if she can hear something or someone in the hall. But if she's trying to get away from someone, pressing every floor button wouldn't help her. If it was me I'd want to go to my room immediately or to front desk immediately, not to every floor as I travel on the elevator. Captain kind of covers that logic.
    I agree that there could be someone she's talking to in the hall that's messing with her. But then I would expect laughter if it was a friend she was goofing around with. She doesn't look afraid - she looks more goofy, like she's singing a song and dancing or pretending - than she does afraid of who's coming.
    What's creepy is that she's hiding, she seems confused about how an elevator works, and her physical movements seem unnatural.

  • Leesa

    Leesa Chicago

    Hi, Hope your well! She doesn't look fearful to me, but rather confused. When she enters she seems normal and calm. When she leans down halfway to look at the numbers, that is the first thing I notice as quite uncommon. She also lifts her pointer finger up to the ceiling high up before bending down and pressing the numbers. To me, it seems like she had the intent of pressing all of them when she entered. It comes off as mostly a playful thing to do. Then she stands for a moment waiting for the doors to close. When they don't close, I think she is wondering why and if there is someone out in the hallway pressing the button. She probably doesn't realize that pressing all those buttons made the door stay ajar. That's when she does the quick right left glance to see if anyone is there. Then she backs up against the wall and then into the corner indicating to me she is trying to make doors close. She then steps back out to look why they haven't closed. She does a quick hop into the hallway which comes across like shes trying to catch someone in the act of messing with her. She presses the buttons again hoping this will make the doors close. The hand movements in the hallway after this are quite weird and I can't decide if its a manic episode or if she is trying to trigger the doors in some way. I don't think the maneuvers in and of themselves prove she's suffering a psychotic break. Yes, they're eccentric and uncommon and questionable, but I don't see any over the top movements. She seems confused and wondering why the elevator isn't working. However, the childlike actions and maneuvers she does do seem like more evidence she wasn't thinking in her healthy mind. Just the fact that she pressed all the buttons indicates to me that she wasn't in her best frame of mind.

    Hi,

    Hope your well!

    She doesn't look fearful to me, but rather confused.

    When she enters she seems normal and calm. When she leans down halfway to look at the numbers, that is the first thing I notice as quite uncommon. She also lifts her pointer finger up to the ceiling high up before bending down and pressing the numbers. To me, it seems like she had the intent of pressing all of them when she entered. It comes off as mostly a playful thing to do.

    Then she stands for a moment waiting for the doors to close. When they don't close, I think she is wondering why and if there is someone out in the hallway pressing the button. She probably doesn't realize that pressing all those buttons made the door stay ajar. That's when she does the quick right left glance to see if anyone is there. Then she backs up against the wall and then into the corner indicating to me she is trying to make doors close. She then steps back out to look why they haven't closed. She does a quick hop into the hallway which comes across like shes trying to catch someone in the act of messing with her. She presses the buttons again hoping this will make the doors close. The hand movements in the hallway after this are quite weird and I can't decide if its a manic episode or if she is trying to trigger the doors in some way.

    I don't think the maneuvers in and of themselves prove she's suffering a psychotic break. Yes, they're eccentric and uncommon and questionable, but I don't see any over the top movements. She seems confused and wondering why the elevator isn't working. However, the childlike actions and maneuvers she does do seem like more evidence she wasn't thinking in her healthy mind. Just the fact that she pressed all the buttons indicates to me that she wasn't in her best frame of mind.

  • SB

    SB Los Angeles

    This is an interesting case, and I think there are a lot of possible explanations. The simplest is that Ms. Lam had a serious mental breakdown, and while in an altered state, got to the roof and somehow fell into the water storage container. However, according to some this would have been difficult to accomplish because the backdoor had a lock/alarm, the water storage container required one to climb up a ladder, open, and then fall in. This would probably require solid motor skills and concentration, something Ms. Lam clearly didn't have, as she could barely get the elevator to work. I think too many people are quick to assume that the mental breakdown, alone, caused the death. However, if you were a killer looking for a victim, someone like Ms. Lam might be an easy target. She is already halfway incapacitated and unaware of her surroundings. She would be akin to the pretty drunk girl who passes out at the frat house. She was an easy prey in that state and this hotel was known for having some pretty sketchy guests. I am open to the idea that Ms. Lam had a mental break AND possibly attracted a stalker/killer who hoped to take advantage of her given the condition she was in. I could see her getting to the roof, and attempting to, "hide" from this threat in the water storage facility. If she was suicidal, she could have easily just jumped off the roof. The fact she was found in a water container, tells me she probably didn't intend to die there, because I cannot think of a more horrible death. If you were an attacker, and Ms. Lam jumped into the water tank, that would effectively end the pursuit. There isn't anything more a person could do at that point except leave her there.

    This is an interesting case, and I think there are a lot of possible explanations. The simplest is that Ms. Lam had a serious mental breakdown, and while in an altered state, got to the roof and somehow fell into the water storage container. However, according to some this would have been difficult to accomplish because the backdoor had a lock/alarm, the water storage container required one to climb up a ladder, open, and then fall in. This would probably require solid motor skills and concentration, something Ms. Lam clearly didn't have, as she could barely get the elevator to work.

    I think too many people are quick to assume that the mental breakdown, alone, caused the death. However, if you were a killer looking for a victim, someone like Ms. Lam might be an easy target. She is already halfway incapacitated and unaware of her surroundings. She would be akin to the pretty drunk girl who passes out at the frat house. She was an easy prey in that state and this hotel was known for having some pretty sketchy guests.

    I am open to the idea that Ms. Lam had a mental break AND possibly attracted a stalker/killer who hoped to take advantage of her given the condition she was in. I could see her getting to the roof, and attempting to, "hide" from this threat in the water storage facility. If she was suicidal, she could have easily just jumped off the roof. The fact she was found in a water container, tells me she probably didn't intend to die there, because I cannot think of a more horrible death. If you were an attacker, and Ms. Lam jumped into the water tank, that would effectively end the pursuit. There isn't anything more a person could do at that point except leave her there.

  • pain4anangel

    pain4anangel

    I used to be a security guard for many years and would run the control rooms for buildings I worked in. My first thought when the elevator stalled is that someone parked it. I don't know of any elevator that would stay open that long on its own. Then when she is talking/gesturing, it looked as if she was talking into the elevator at first, which would be a typical response if the intercom came on and someone was talking to her from the control room. Also, as security, we had roof access. Keys to go on the roof as well as control over the alarms. There would be a record of the alarm going off even if it was acknowledged though. Although it seems she is under the influence and acting strange, a lot of the other info can be explained if they have onsite security. I'm hoping they checked into it.

    I used to be a security guard for many years and would run the control rooms for buildings I worked in. My first thought when the elevator stalled is that someone parked it. I don't know of any elevator that would stay open that long on its own. Then when she is talking/gesturing, it looked as if she was talking into the elevator at first, which would be a typical response if the intercom came on and someone was talking to her from the control room. Also, as security, we had roof access. Keys to go on the roof as well as control over the alarms. There would be a record of the alarm going off even if it was acknowledged though. Although it seems she is under the influence and acting strange, a lot of the other info can be explained if they have onsite security. I'm hoping they checked into it.

  • Ryan

    Ryan Buffalo

    I agree with Leesa; while I totally understand why everyone thinks something nefarious is going on, I think she is simply baffled as to why the elevator doors aren't closing. You can clearly see her standing in the opening looking to see if someone is in the hallway tripping the door and when she makes her hand gestures I think she's trying to see if something's blocking the door from closing. Also, while I do agree that something was going on with her psyche, she also just could have been a bored, quirky girl by herself that is trying to figure out if someone is playing a joke on her. It doesn't help explain how she ended up in a water tank, but I also believe one may have nothing to do with the other.

    I agree with Leesa; while I totally understand why everyone thinks something nefarious is going on, I think she is simply baffled as to why the elevator doors aren't closing. You can clearly see her standing in the opening looking to see if someone is in the hallway tripping the door and when she makes her hand gestures I think she's trying to see if something's blocking the door from closing. Also, while I do agree that something was going on with her psyche, she also just could have been a bored, quirky girl by herself that is trying to figure out if someone is playing a joke on her. It doesn't help explain how she ended up in a water tank, but I also believe one may have nothing to do with the other.

  • Kristin

    Kristin Western ma

    Could it be possible the video footage had been slowed down? It seems like the doors are open much longer than normal. The only reason I can think of to press every button is if someone is following you and you don't want them to know what floor you'd be staying on. Also... if a 18 year old girl is on vacation why is she awake at 830 am?

    Could it be possible the video footage had been slowed down? It seems like the doors are open much longer than normal. The only reason I can think of to press every button is if someone is following you and you don't want them to know what floor you'd be staying on. Also... if a 18 year old girl is on vacation why is she awake at 830 am?

  • sofasleuth

    sofasleuth somewhere in Europe

    I haven't read the comments yet, sorry if I state something that was discussed before. If I could be agent Scully for a moment, I would say that it is a clear situation and easy to explain. This is what I see on the footage: she seems to be in a good mood, perhaps tipsy, or high, but not intoxicated. She is expecting someone to come towards the elevator, I suspect someone she has just been with or seen. She decide to surprise that person and hide in the elevator. She pushes all the buttons because she knows it would make the elevator stay with its door open. She seems very playful trying to sneak out but at the same time make sure the elevator doesn't leave. After some time she realizes the person is not (yet) coming so she decides to keep an eye on the corridor to see when the person shows up. She probably sings to herself and dances with her hands. The footage ends without the person showing up. I don't find it strange at all, if there were cameras at my workplace there would be weird videos of me when I do playful things while waiting for something. The question is who is waiting for and why that person is not coming (I suspect that she was absolutely sure that the person would come because that's what she was told by that person). On the end note of the episode I would like to recommend a podcast, called redeeming disorder. they discuss stigma and perception surrounding psychological disorders. very good one.

    I haven't read the comments yet, sorry if I state something that was discussed before. If I could be agent Scully for a moment, I would say that it is a clear situation and easy to explain. This is what I see on the footage: she seems to be in a good mood, perhaps tipsy, or high, but not intoxicated. She is expecting someone to come towards the elevator, I suspect someone she has just been with or seen. She decide to surprise that person and hide in the elevator. She pushes all the buttons because she knows it would make the elevator stay with its door open. She seems very playful trying to sneak out but at the same time make sure the elevator doesn't leave. After some time she realizes the person is not (yet) coming so she decides to keep an eye on the corridor to see when the person shows up. She probably sings to herself and dances with her hands. The footage ends without the person showing up. I don't find it strange at all, if there were cameras at my workplace there would be weird videos of me when I do playful things while waiting for something. The question is who is waiting for and why that person is not coming (I suspect that she was absolutely sure that the person would come because that's what she was told by that person).

    On the end note of the episode I would like to recommend a podcast, called redeeming disorder. they discuss stigma and perception surrounding psychological disorders. very good one.

  • Susan

    Susan British Columbia

    After watching this , I don't see any fear at all. She goes in, presses all the buttons, then she may have heard someone in the hall and "hides because she doesn't want someone complaining about it (since people already have). Then since the doors aren't closing, in her mania, she starts playing a game. To me the first time she exits, she almost hops out like "gotcha!) Then she just appears to be playing this sort of game, gets bored and wanders off. She looks high to me but maybe mania can look like that as well.

    After watching this , I don't see any fear at all. She goes in, presses all the buttons, then she may have heard someone in the hall and "hides because she doesn't want someone complaining about it (since people already have). Then since the doors aren't closing, in her mania, she starts playing a game. To me the first time she exits, she almost hops out like "gotcha!) Then she just appears to be playing this sort of game, gets bored and wanders off. She looks high to me but maybe mania can look like that as well.

  • Sandra Marques

    Sandra Marques Brampton Ontario Canada

    She looks like she's on something. Drunk or high. She seems to be playing with someone..in her head or otherwise. Like a child. She's acting like a little girl playing. Those hand gestures are of someone who's not playing with a full deck...she is definitely seeing things that aren't there....or are they. I'd have to drink alot if wine to be acting like that. Not enough wine.

    She looks like she's on something. Drunk or high. She seems to be playing with someone..in her head or otherwise. Like a child. She's acting like a little girl playing. Those hand gestures are of someone who's not playing with a full deck...she is definitely seeing things that aren't there....or are they. I'd have to drink alot if wine to be acting like that. Not enough wine.

  • Sandra Marques

    Sandra Marques Ontario Canada

    Why was she ever alone!!!!!

    Why was she ever alone!!!!!

  • Pam

    Pam Melbourne

    Hey, Just putting this out there, but what if she was planning to meet someone on the roof top for 'adult shenanigans'? She's in the elevator, and she's waiting for them because they agreed to meet there. But the other person doesn't show up. So she gets out to find them. What if she then goes to the roof top to meet them, and then has to find somewhere to hide? (Say, security is looking around). What if she climbed up and jumped in the water tank to hide? Sounds far fetched perhaps, but I've certainly done crazier things in my time. I can also tread water for, like, forever, so that hiding place wouldn't be out of the question. If someone was chasing me, and I needed somewhere to hide, I would totally get in the water tank and either float or tread water until they left.

    Hey,

    Just putting this out there, but what if she was planning to meet someone on the roof top for 'adult shenanigans'? She's in the elevator, and she's waiting for them because they agreed to meet there. But the other person doesn't show up. So she gets out to find them.

    What if she then goes to the roof top to meet them, and then has to find somewhere to hide? (Say, security is looking around). What if she climbed up and jumped in the water tank to hide?

    Sounds far fetched perhaps, but I've certainly done crazier things in my time. I can also tread water for, like, forever, so that hiding place wouldn't be out of the question.

    If someone was chasing me, and I needed somewhere to hide, I would totally get in the water tank and either float or tread water until they left.

  • Candy

    Candy Utah

    One thing I want to point out is most people say in a time like this that she was probably off her meds, which could be completely true and does happen, but it could just as well be that she's misdiagnosed, not diagnosed yet, or she doesn't have a strong enough prescription/taking one that works best with her. She's around that age when schizophrenia starts to show signs and symptoms. This could happen be the first time she's experiencing this or the most intense and not realize it. She definitely looks like she's hallucinating or something similar. I wonder if she got into the tank thinking it would solve some problem she thought she was encountering which would totally make sense if she was schizophrenic, but I almost feel this is just too weird to just say an accident.

    One thing I want to point out is most people say in a time like this that she was probably off her meds, which could be completely true and does happen, but it could just as well be that she's misdiagnosed, not diagnosed yet, or she doesn't have a strong enough prescription/taking one that works best with her. She's around that age when schizophrenia starts to show signs and symptoms. This could happen be the first time she's experiencing this or the most intense and not realize it. She definitely looks like she's hallucinating or something similar. I wonder if she got into the tank thinking it would solve some problem she thought she was encountering which would totally make sense if she was schizophrenic, but I almost feel this is just too weird to just say an accident.

  • Summer

    Summer Salt Lake City

    I used to live in the Cecil in the early 2000's and I really don't think you can overstate the amount of crime that takes place there. Literally my ex and I bought crack from random people in the elevators (14 years clean now), and people would call up rooms randomly to ask if people needed or sold anything. It's also not convenient to any tourist area of Los Angeles, so I have no idea why she stayed there. My best guess to what happened though is mental health. I have mental illnesses as do many of my loved ones and I know that going off meds is all too common, as are strange effects from new meds.

    I used to live in the Cecil in the early 2000's and I really don't think you can overstate the amount of crime that takes place there. Literally my ex and I bought crack from random people in the elevators (14 years clean now), and people would call up rooms randomly to ask if people needed or sold anything. It's also not convenient to any tourist area of Los Angeles, so I have no idea why she stayed there.

    My best guess to what happened though is mental health. I have mental illnesses as do many of my loved ones and I know that going off meds is all too common, as are strange effects from new meds.

  • deejonzz

    deejonzz lkv, orygun

    I think she looks like she is trying to be normal, but then she looks like she is playing a piano with the way she spreads her fingers out. But, I think she had a psychotic hallucinogenic break, but not in a frenzied way like you would think, but more like a controlled calculating way, which is even creepier. I think she had a whole different party going on in her head, but I still think her moves were purposeful and thought out.

    I think she looks like she is trying to be normal, but then she looks like she is playing a piano with the way she spreads her fingers out. But, I think she had a psychotic hallucinogenic break, but not in a frenzied way like you would think, but more like a controlled calculating way, which is even creepier. I think she had a whole different party going on in her head, but I still think her moves were purposeful and thought out.

  • Bruce

    Bruce Helen, GA

    If you haven't seen the 2005 movie 'Dark Water' starring Jennifer Connelly, watch it. Eerily similar.

    If you haven't seen the 2005 movie 'Dark Water' starring Jennifer Connelly, watch it. Eerily similar.

  • Joy

    Joy New York

    Hi guys, love your podcast and had to comment on this case. I'm a mental health therapist and the thing about bipolar disorder is that it's on a spectrum: meaning there are various levels of 'severity' bipolar 1 being the most severe, some people do in fact experience psychosis (loss of contact with reality, hallucinations, delusions and/or paranoia). I've seen this type of behavior before. I think she is experiencing paranoia and psychosis in this clip. She is acting as if someone or something is chasing her, but if she were completely lucid and that was in fact taking place, in all likelihood she would not push all those buttons which would hold up the elevator to begin with. The odd hand movements as well strike me as someone in a psychotic state. This is a very sad case. I think she was not in reality when this video footage was captured and likely also when she ended up in the water tank.

    Hi guys, love your podcast and had to comment on this case. I'm a mental health therapist and the thing about bipolar disorder is that it's on a spectrum: meaning there are various levels of 'severity' bipolar 1 being the most severe, some people do in fact experience psychosis (loss of contact with reality, hallucinations, delusions and/or paranoia). I've seen this type of behavior before. I think she is experiencing paranoia and psychosis in this clip. She is acting as if someone or something is chasing her, but if she were completely lucid and that was in fact taking place, in all likelihood she would not push all those buttons which would hold up the elevator to begin with. The odd hand movements as well strike me as someone in a psychotic state. This is a very sad case. I think she was not in reality when this video footage was captured and likely also when she ended up in the water tank.

  • True Crime Garage

    True Crime Garage

    Thanks Joy! Cheers, Nic

    Thanks Joy!
    Cheers,
    Nic

  • RachelCantEatCheese

    RachelCantEatCheese Sometimes Nebraska

    I would ageee with Nic and the Captain that there was no foul play in this case, but there's one detail that I just can't get past...........How did the hatch get shut after she entered the tank?

    I would ageee with Nic and the Captain that there was no foul play in this case, but there's one detail that I just can't get past...........How did the hatch get shut after she entered the tank?

  • True Crime Garage

    True Crime Garage

    That's an excellent question. Maybe she didn't open it all of the way. If you pushed it open less than 50 percent it's going to close behind you. I think we may have went through some other scenarios Thanks, Nic

    That's an excellent question. Maybe she didn't open it all of the way. If you pushed it open less than 50 percent it's going to close behind you. I think we may have went through some other scenarios
    Thanks,
    Nic

  • Chelsea

    Chelsea Texas

    Is there any footage of her in those elevators in the days before she disappeared? Did she always do this in these elevators or was this a one time thing? I would like to see other elevator footage to see if maybe she acted like this all the time in the elevator there.

    Is there any footage of her in those elevators in the days before she disappeared? Did she always do this in these elevators or was this a one time thing? I would like to see other elevator footage to see if maybe she acted like this all the time in the elevator there.

  • True Crime Garage

    True Crime Garage

    That's a great question. I've not come across any additional footage but I would believe some would be out there. Assuming the camera working/was recording in the other elevator as well. Nic

    That's a great question. I've not come across any additional footage but I would believe some would be out there. Assuming the camera working/was recording in the other elevator as well.
    Nic

  • Michele

    Michele Alabama

    I'm curious about two things: First, was the ladder stored on the roof and was it by the tanks when the maintenance guy went up there? Second, was that the first tank he checked when he found her?

    I'm curious about two things:
    First, was the ladder stored on the roof and was it by the tanks when the maintenance guy went up there?
    Second, was that the first tank he checked when he found her?

  • True Crime Garage

    True Crime Garage

    The ladder was very likely stored on the roof and my speculation was that it could have possibly already have been positioned when Lisa found it. No one would say where the ladder was located when the maintenance man checked the tanks. And no I don't believe that was the first tank checked when she was found. Thanks, Nic

    The ladder was very likely stored on the roof and my speculation was that it could have possibly already have been positioned when Lisa found it. No one would say where the ladder was located when the maintenance man checked the tanks. And no I don't believe that was the first tank checked when she was found.
    Thanks,
    Nic

  • Becky

    Becky Canada

    On the topic of her meds.. In Canada, lots of meds are controlled. So, you get your prescription from the Dr, take it to the pharmacy and sometimes you can only get 30/60 days worth of meds, even if the Dr has written you a prescription for 6 months worth of meds. The dispensed amount is listed, the remaining amount is what's left on file at the pharmacy. It's also possible she could only afford 60 days instead of 6 months(depending on what she was taking, her meds could have been very expensive)

    On the topic of her meds.. In Canada, lots of meds are controlled. So, you get your prescription from the Dr, take it to the pharmacy and sometimes you can only get 30/60 days worth of meds, even if the Dr has written you a prescription for 6 months worth of meds. The dispensed amount is listed, the remaining amount is what's left on file at the pharmacy. It's also possible she could only afford 60 days instead of 6 months(depending on what she was taking, her meds could have been very expensive)

  • Only now listening to this. I work in a psych/detox center and have for the last 6 years. I wish there was audio with this but of course there won't be in an elevator. Looks like she's having, at the very least, visual hallucinations. I think Joy in NY nailed what was going pretty much....very sad

    Only now listening to this. I work in a psych/detox center and have for the last 6 years. I wish there was audio with this but of course there won't be in an elevator. Looks like she's having, at the very least, visual hallucinations. I think Joy in NY nailed what was going pretty much....very sad

  • Ginger

    Ginger Louisville, ky

    Probably on some type of drugs, or could be sleep walking people do weird stuff when they sleep walk

    Probably on some type of drugs, or could be sleep walking people do weird stuff when they sleep walk

  • Ralph Wiggum

    Ralph Wiggum

    What a weird thing to watch. Some people say she's simply waiting for the elevator to work or that she's communicating with someone outside the elevator.. I don't think either is true as she is acting way more odd than someone just waiting and the way she looks out then even does a little hop out of the elevator as if expecting something different? As far as alarms and locks go that's to assume this hotel staff actually follows protocol. I could see a staff member using the roof for a smoke break and intentionally leaving alarms disabled and the door unlocked as typically nobody would even try to access it and after awhile it's just easier to leave it unlocked etc. Whatever way you cut it she's acting odd right? Someone trying to escape someone else doesn't hop out and dance around. To me her mental state is off and maybe she accessed the water tank via ladder and went in .. unfortunately the inside of the tank doesn't have a ladder and she had no way to get out.

    What a weird thing to watch. Some people say she's simply waiting for the elevator to work or that she's communicating with someone outside the elevator.. I don't think either is true as she is acting way more odd than someone just waiting and the way she looks out then even does a little hop out of the elevator as if expecting something different? As far as alarms and locks go that's to assume this hotel staff actually follows protocol. I could see a staff member using the roof for a smoke break and intentionally leaving alarms disabled and the door unlocked as typically nobody would even try to access it and after awhile it's just easier to leave it unlocked etc. Whatever way you cut it she's acting odd right? Someone trying to escape someone else doesn't hop out and dance around. To me her mental state is off and maybe she accessed the water tank via ladder and went in .. unfortunately the inside of the tank doesn't have a ladder and she had no way to get out.

  • Jude

    Jude California

    I listened to the episodes about Elisa Lam (obligatory "love the podcast, it's great" type comment, as this is a sentiment I actually hold). Both Nic and the Captain were going on at length about how little sense Lam's movements made, and I fully get why they seem weird to people, but I think I have a little insight. I know there was a tiny bit of discussion as to whether or not Elisa Lam's bipolar diagnosis was 100% correct (I noticed you said "diagnosed bipolar" more often than you said anything that meant she was 100% certainly bipolar. Although I think this is also explainable due to how much the treatment for bipolar disorder, whether or not one actually has the disorder, was discussed.) Anyway, though, I have bipolar disorder (I'd say this diagnosis is definite because there is no better explanation for some of my abnormal moods/emotions/behaviors, etc.), and Elisa Lam's weird movements actually make sense to me because those are actually things I do. I don't do these on purpose (they just kind of accidentally happen), but things I do that Elisa Lam is seen to do in the video include moving my hands weirdly, repeating motions, moving from place to place within a small space for no identifiable reason, looking in some direction like something's there when it isn't, and standing still like I'm looking at something and not sure what to do. I don't know if this is an actual bipolar disorder symptom or if it's just a weird quirk of mine independent of bipolar disorder, but I've heard vague mentions of "unusual physical mannerisms" when researching my own disorder so it could be because of the disorder. A specific thing underlying these behaviors that might be relevant to Lam's case: when I'm having a brief psychotic episode (i.e. hallucinating/falsely thinking something only to later realize it wasn't real, as opposed to long-term delusions or anything), I might see or hear something that isn't real but my attention will be drawn in its direction and I'll be fairly still while trying to assess if it's real or not. (For what it's worth, in my case it tends to involve hearing voices in languages I can identify but don't understand and seeing shadowy spaces that look like they might be matter of some kind but I can't tell for sure.) The movements from place to place within small spaces is usually because I can't tell where I'm "supposed" to be. (I have a weird tendency to think that things "should" be in some place or another, and these "things" include my own body. That might have to do with other disorders I have, but it's something that can manifest to a disorderly degree in a person.) It's either that or that I'm having some delusion or another that something can see me and I don't want it to see me from a certain angle or that something wants me to be in some spot or another. While bipolar disorder is a mood disorder, it tends to come with psychotic symptoms as well, and it's altogether likely that Elisa Lam was experiencing some of that psychosis. (I remember that blog post she made about distrusting some guys she'd met while on her holiday, and that's completely in-line with the paranoia that accompanies the mood swings, to give an idea of symptoms we know for sure Lam presented that weren't strictly mood-related.) It was interesting to hear Elisa Lam's hand motions described as "hocus pocus" motions, as other people have described my odd hand motions in similar terms. People have used phrases and comparisons including "[the catalyst for the mannerisms] is making you cast a spell", "witch/wizard hands", and "you look like a ghost is leaving your body". I don't care to relate this to any paranormal theories about Elisa Lam's death, but suffice to say that the implicit supernatural comparisons to her hand motions are the same as directly supernatural comparisons my similar behavior garners, thus meaning that there's at least one other bipolar person out there who does things similar to what Elisa Lam was doing in the elevator video and who has their behaviors described to them similarly to how Lam's were in this podcast. What I've described are recurring behaviors for me. The public doesn't know if these were recurring behaviors for Elisa Lam. People seem to view this and assume this was an isolated incident, but if she had weird movements and reactions for mental illness-related reasons that ever presented in other situations, the general public wouldn't know. As far as I'm aware, nobody who knew her ever came forth and discussed how her behavior in the footage related to how she behaved at any other point. If anyone she knew did publicly state that Elisa Lam would get manic/psychotic episodes and/or do the kind of things as seen in the video, I've never heard of it (I have studied this case but not exhaustively). However, it's not hard to imagine that her family and/or friends would choose to not make that knowledge public in the interest of not posthumously making their child/friend seem "weird" and therefore do something that would make others see her in a negative light. (It's also possible that they didn't know about these behaviors; obviously symptoms of disorders don't "choose" to manifest depending on whether or not someone else is around, but it's possible that people who knew Lam just weren't around her often enough to see her performing all of these behaviors. (I as well as the many other mentally ill people I know can attest to the fact that some symptoms or behaviors just don't get seen by a lot of people, so others find it surprising when someone with some disorder or another discusses a behavior of theirs that the person to whom they're talking has never seen them do.) Essentially, the behaviors in the elevator footage do seem weird, but they were not necessarily unique to that situation, and Elisa Lam having bipolar disorder would potentially make it so that those behaviors were normal for her. The footage would still be unusual given the circumstances surrounding it, but it would place the footage in an entirely different light, and that particular viewpoint could be completely legitimate. Again, I have no idea if this happens to other bipolar people or if it's just me, but I have honestly literally found myself standing in a hallway moving my hands for no real reason and thinking "oh my god, this is what Elisa Lam was doing". (I should mention that I've been doing this kind of thing LONG before I first heard about Elisa Lam; this wasn't something I started doing after I learned of this individual's behavior, so to forestall some otherwise inevitable questions, this isn't accidental imitation.) The "elevator tag"-like actions are consistent with potential feelings that things should be a certain way or that certain unusual behaviors should be repeated as though by someone with bipolar disorder. The behavior that made it look like Lam was looking at or for someone or something is consistent with how someone with bipolar disorder may react to certain hallucinations or delusions. Lam may or may not have displayed behaviors like those in the footage on other occasions as well; we have no way of knowing that, but it is a possibility given her diagnosis. If everything I'm saying here is ultimately BS, I wouldn't be surprised, but as someone who had a particular trait in common with Elisa Lam and who recognizes the behavior in the video (especially given that that behavior is often discussed with no real conclusion reached), I wanted to share this viewpoint.

    I listened to the episodes about Elisa Lam (obligatory "love the podcast, it's great" type comment, as this is a sentiment I actually hold). Both Nic and the Captain were going on at length about how little sense Lam's movements made, and I fully get why they seem weird to people, but I think I have a little insight.

    I know there was a tiny bit of discussion as to whether or not Elisa Lam's bipolar diagnosis was 100% correct (I noticed you said "diagnosed bipolar" more often than you said anything that meant she was 100% certainly bipolar. Although I think this is also explainable due to how much the treatment for bipolar disorder, whether or not one actually has the disorder, was discussed.) Anyway, though, I have bipolar disorder (I'd say this diagnosis is definite because there is no better explanation for some of my abnormal moods/emotions/behaviors, etc.), and Elisa Lam's weird movements actually make sense to me because those are actually things I do.

    I don't do these on purpose (they just kind of accidentally happen), but things I do that Elisa Lam is seen to do in the video include moving my hands weirdly, repeating motions, moving from place to place within a small space for no identifiable reason, looking in some direction like something's there when it isn't, and standing still like I'm looking at something and not sure what to do. I don't know if this is an actual bipolar disorder symptom or if it's just a weird quirk of mine independent of bipolar disorder, but I've heard vague mentions of "unusual physical mannerisms" when researching my own disorder so it could be because of the disorder.

    A specific thing underlying these behaviors that might be relevant to Lam's case: when I'm having a brief psychotic episode (i.e. hallucinating/falsely thinking something only to later realize it wasn't real, as opposed to long-term delusions or anything), I might see or hear something that isn't real but my attention will be drawn in its direction and I'll be fairly still while trying to assess if it's real or not. (For what it's worth, in my case it tends to involve hearing voices in languages I can identify but don't understand and seeing shadowy spaces that look like they might be matter of some kind but I can't tell for sure.)

    The movements from place to place within small spaces is usually because I can't tell where I'm "supposed" to be. (I have a weird tendency to think that things "should" be in some place or another, and these "things" include my own body. That might have to do with other disorders I have, but it's something that can manifest to a disorderly degree in a person.) It's either that or that I'm having some delusion or another that something can see me and I don't want it to see me from a certain angle or that something wants me to be in some spot or another. While bipolar disorder is a mood disorder, it tends to come with psychotic symptoms as well, and it's altogether likely that Elisa Lam was experiencing some of that psychosis. (I remember that blog post she made about distrusting some guys she'd met while on her holiday, and that's completely in-line with the paranoia that accompanies the mood swings, to give an idea of symptoms we know for sure Lam presented that weren't strictly mood-related.)

    It was interesting to hear Elisa Lam's hand motions described as "hocus pocus" motions, as other people have described my odd hand motions in similar terms. People have used phrases and comparisons including "[the catalyst for the mannerisms] is making you cast a spell", "witch/wizard hands", and "you look like a ghost is leaving your body". I don't care to relate this to any paranormal theories about Elisa Lam's death, but suffice to say that the implicit supernatural comparisons to her hand motions are the same as directly supernatural comparisons my similar behavior garners, thus meaning that there's at least one other bipolar person out there who does things similar to what Elisa Lam was doing in the elevator video and who has their behaviors described to them similarly to how Lam's were in this podcast.

    What I've described are recurring behaviors for me. The public doesn't know if these were recurring behaviors for Elisa Lam. People seem to view this and assume this was an isolated incident, but if she had weird movements and reactions for mental illness-related reasons that ever presented in other situations, the general public wouldn't know. As far as I'm aware, nobody who knew her ever came forth and discussed how her behavior in the footage related to how she behaved at any other point. If anyone she knew did publicly state that Elisa Lam would get manic/psychotic episodes and/or do the kind of things as seen in the video, I've never heard of it (I have studied this case but not exhaustively). However, it's not hard to imagine that her family and/or friends would choose to not make that knowledge public in the interest of not posthumously making their child/friend seem "weird" and therefore do something that would make others see her in a negative light. (It's also possible that they didn't know about these behaviors; obviously symptoms of disorders don't "choose" to manifest depending on whether or not someone else is around, but it's possible that people who knew Lam just weren't around her often enough to see her performing all of these behaviors. (I as well as the many other mentally ill people I know can attest to the fact that some symptoms or behaviors just don't get seen by a lot of people, so others find it surprising when someone with some disorder or another discusses a behavior of theirs that the person to whom they're talking has never seen them do.) Essentially, the behaviors in the elevator footage do seem weird, but they were not necessarily unique to that situation, and Elisa Lam having bipolar disorder would potentially make it so that those behaviors were normal for her. The footage would still be unusual given the circumstances surrounding it, but it would place the footage in an entirely different light, and that particular viewpoint could be completely legitimate.

    Again, I have no idea if this happens to other bipolar people or if it's just me, but I have honestly literally found myself standing in a hallway moving my hands for no real reason and thinking "oh my god, this is what Elisa Lam was doing". (I should mention that I've been doing this kind of thing LONG before I first heard about Elisa Lam; this wasn't something I started doing after I learned of this individual's behavior, so to forestall some otherwise inevitable questions, this isn't accidental imitation.) The "elevator tag"-like actions are consistent with potential feelings that things should be a certain way or that certain unusual behaviors should be repeated as though by someone with bipolar disorder. The behavior that made it look like Lam was looking at or for someone or something is consistent with how someone with bipolar disorder may react to certain hallucinations or delusions. Lam may or may not have displayed behaviors like those in the footage on other occasions as well; we have no way of knowing that, but it is a possibility given her diagnosis.

    If everything I'm saying here is ultimately BS, I wouldn't be surprised, but as someone who had a particular trait in common with Elisa Lam and who recognizes the behavior in the video (especially given that that behavior is often discussed with no real conclusion reached), I wanted to share this viewpoint.

  • Nichole

    Nichole Colorado

    When she is hiding in the corner it seems like she is waiting for someone to come around the corner and jump out at them. She seems calm and pretty collected minus a few odd things but she could very well be in a manic state.

    When she is hiding in the corner it seems like she is waiting for someone to come around the corner and jump out at them. She seems calm and pretty collected minus a few odd things but she could very well be in a manic state.

  • KRis sykes

    KRis sykes Rochester ny

    I thought I once heard of some kind of paranormal elevator game. With all the weird things that happens at that hotel who knows.

    I thought I once heard of some kind of paranormal elevator game. With all the weird things that happens at that hotel who knows.

  • Johannes Tallroth

    Johannes Tallroth Sweden

    Re-listening to the Elisa Lam case. (Great episode!) One question that I can’t get out of my head is if we know if the 16x16 water tank cover/lid could have flipped when she stepped on it? There was a case in Southern Europe somewhere were a guy stepped on a manhole cover and it ‘flipped’ and made him fall in... Do we know if that’s a possibility?

    Re-listening to the Elisa Lam case. (Great episode!) One question that I can’t get out of my head is if we know if the 16x16 water tank cover/lid could have flipped when she stepped on it? There was a case in Southern Europe somewhere were a guy stepped on a manhole cover and it ‘flipped’ and made him fall in... Do we know if that’s a possibility?

  • True Crime Garage

    True Crime Garage

    I can't say 100% no as I have only been able to review these with photos taken of the roof top. But some pretty good photos. But from what I can't see I would say no - they would not have flipped. They look pretty secure to me and they would need to be removed by hand. Nic

    I can't say 100% no as I have only been able to review these with photos taken of the roof top. But some pretty good photos. But from what I can't see I would say no - they would not have flipped. They look pretty secure to me and they would need to be removed by hand.
    Nic

  • J

    J Chicago

    Shes obsesive compulsive. She is going through OCD rituals then moves on. It would also explain why her room mates had issues as its an odd thing. Has anyone looked into her meds/medical to see if that checks out?

    Shes obsesive compulsive. She is going through OCD rituals then moves on. It would also explain why her room mates had issues as its an odd thing. Has anyone looked into her meds/medical to see if that checks out?

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous

    Hey guys. Great episode. So sad these tragic losses. My take is this. I don't think she was hiding in the corner out of fear, she doesn't look scared at this point but it definitely looks like she is hiding. I wouldn't squish myself in an elevator corner just to be polite of someone potentially coming on. My take of this first portion of the video is she saw someone coming, hid and maybe was going to jump out and scare them. Revenge perhaps on the people that she was originally sharing a room with? The second part for me is more clear. And I speak from experience of dealing with anxiety when I was younger. I don't think her putting her arms over her head as a sign of seduction or sexual desire. I see it as a, "ugg I am bored" type of stretch. I know when I am bored or impatient I do this motion. When she comes into the elevator with her arms raised I see panic and anxiety in her face. It also looks like she is trying to steady herself. Could she have been dizzy? I think she is then desperate to get the elevator going so she pushes all of the buttons. The hand motions are, to me, her trying to activate the elevator doors but the finger motions remind me of, "itsy bitsy spider". If she was experiencing anxiety, or a panic attack, perhaps that game or finger motion was a tool she would use to calm herself down. I do hate speculation because I feel on the one hand it is good for conversation and bringing up ideas no one thought of, but I also think it can be damaging. However, my thoughts are that she died accidentally. I do not think someone else was involved.

    Hey guys. Great episode. So sad these tragic losses.
    My take is this. I don't think she was hiding in the corner out of fear, she doesn't look scared at this point but it definitely looks like she is hiding. I wouldn't squish myself in an elevator corner just to be polite of someone potentially coming on. My take of this first portion of the video is she saw someone coming, hid and maybe was going to jump out and scare them. Revenge perhaps on the people that she was originally sharing a room with?
    The second part for me is more clear. And I speak from experience of dealing with anxiety when I was younger. I don't think her putting her arms over her head as a sign of seduction or sexual desire. I see it as a, "ugg I am bored" type of stretch. I know when I am bored or impatient I do this motion. When she comes into the elevator with her arms raised I see panic and anxiety in her face. It also looks like she is trying to steady herself. Could she have been dizzy?
    I think she is then desperate to get the elevator going so she pushes all of the buttons. The hand motions are, to me, her trying to activate the elevator doors but the finger motions remind me of, "itsy bitsy spider". If she was experiencing anxiety, or a panic attack, perhaps that game or finger motion was a tool she would use to calm herself down.
    I do hate speculation because I feel on the one hand it is good for conversation and bringing up ideas no one thought of, but I also think it can be damaging. However, my thoughts are that she died accidentally. I do not think someone else was involved.

  • DirkSteele

    DirkSteele Chicago

    It's pretty clear to me that she's playing hide-and-seek with someone, or at least thinks she is, and is starting a manic episode because she was off her meds. The hand movements may be boredom. I've known people who dance like that absent-mindedly, especially if they've had prior dance instruction. It seems like her plan was to get the person's attention, then duck into the elevator and hop off on one of the floors she picked in order to throw off the seeker. In her manic state, she may have decided that the roof was a great hiding spot and the water tank an even better spot. No one's come forward because they are probably a tourist, maybe from outside the U.S., and are afraid of being wrongfully accused and thrown in the U.S. prison system. Or, being manic, she may have just imagined someone was playing hide-and-seek with her, when they may have just been going about their business as normal.

    It's pretty clear to me that she's playing hide-and-seek with someone, or at least thinks she is, and is starting a manic episode because she was off her meds. The hand movements may be boredom. I've known people who dance like that absent-mindedly, especially if they've had prior dance instruction. It seems like her plan was to get the person's attention, then duck into the elevator and hop off on one of the floors she picked in order to throw off the seeker. In her manic state, she may have decided that the roof was a great hiding spot and the water tank an even better spot. No one's come forward because they are probably a tourist, maybe from outside the U.S., and are afraid of being wrongfully accused and thrown in the U.S. prison system. Or, being manic, she may have just imagined someone was playing hide-and-seek with her, when they may have just been going about their business as normal.

  • Deb

    Deb Pittsburgh

    Strange happenings at the Cecil Hotel. This is the same hotel the Black Dahlia in episodes 44-46 had stayed at and another serial killer had lived on the roof. The Haunted Places podcast discussed the many other weird events that has happened in and out the windows of the hotel.

    Strange happenings at the Cecil Hotel. This is the same hotel the Black Dahlia in episodes 44-46 had stayed at and another serial killer had lived on the roof. The Haunted Places podcast discussed the many other weird events that has happened in and out the windows of the hotel.

  • Natalie Carruth

    Natalie Carruth Salt lake city

    Thank you, captain, for your openness and honesty about mental health! I find it so brave and refreshing. I love the show and the dynamic between you two. I appreciate your perspective on these cases and all the work you must put into it. Thank you thank you.

    Thank you, captain, for your openness and honesty about mental health! I find it so brave and refreshing. I love the show and the dynamic between you two. I appreciate your perspective on these cases and all the work you must put into it. Thank you thank you.

  • Jimi

    Jimi SF

    Great podcast! I found a list of her websites here - http://elisa-lam-blogs.blogspot.com And these sites compile some of her internet activity - http://elisafields.blogspot.com http://nouvelle-nouveau.blogspot.com http://bruitdefond-blog.blogspot.com https://caliblah.tumblr.com moulesmariniere.tumblr.com

    Great podcast!

    I found a list of her websites here - http://elisa-lam-blogs.blogspot.com
    And these sites compile some of her internet activity - http://elisafields.blogspot.com http://nouvelle-nouveau.blogspot.com http://bruitdefond-blog.blogspot.com https://caliblah.tumblr.com
    moulesmariniere.tumblr.com

  • Kin

    Kin Norway

    Why haven’t the police checked out the roommates further? What if this was just a “innocent” game gone wrong, or a be... taking advantaged of a girl who the roommates already thought was acting weird (see other interviews and articles) that ended with Elisa having to move to a single room. If this started as something innocent and ended as a tragic death, these young roommates could easily agreesd to keep this as a secret. We have already seen this is possible, even if it’s likely some will crack when time goes by.. But what if it’s this simple... What DO WE KNOW about the roommates that thought Elisa was being weird??! What if her being weird was just because she was nervous around people she didn’t know and she had a bad time with anxiety and her depression? Trying to fit in.. did the roommates already know each other? Did they bond before Elisa came to the hotel? So on....

    Why haven’t the police checked out the roommates further? What if this was just a “innocent” game gone wrong, or a be... taking advantaged of a girl who the roommates already thought was acting weird (see other interviews and articles) that ended with Elisa having to move to a single room. If this started as something innocent and ended as a tragic death, these young roommates could easily agreesd to keep this as a secret. We have already seen this is possible, even if it’s likely some will crack when time goes by..
    But what if it’s this simple...
    What DO WE KNOW about the roommates that thought Elisa was being weird??! What if her being weird was just because she was nervous around people she didn’t know and she had a bad time with anxiety and her depression? Trying to fit in.. did the roommates already know each other? Did they bond before Elisa came to the hotel? So on....

  • jeebies

    jeebies australia

    Maybe she was planning to tamper with the water supply to get revenge on her roommates and fell in and couldnt get out. She was checking out the next day i think. The atmosphere in some hostels can be pretty toxic. Even if your bipolar or not. Truth will come out in time . Tragic either way.

    Maybe she was planning to tamper with the water supply to get revenge on her roommates and fell in and couldnt get out. She was checking out the next day i think. The atmosphere in some hostels can be pretty toxic. Even if your bipolar or not. Truth will come out in time .
    Tragic either way.

  • Tony

    Tony New York

    I have studied this footage many times. It seems she is playing with a child who is out of sight in the hallway. The pressing of all the buttons is so when and if the child gets on, she will have more time with them. Notice how she lowers her body to a child’s height when she first peeks out. Playing with them with funny hand movements. Of course all of this is totally irrelevant. It did not cause her death. She had no way of getting through the locked roof door, would not have taken all her clothes off, could not have lifted the tank cover, and then replaced it while floating in the tank. Look for the obvious: someone tried to rape her, she resisted, and ended up dead. Then hid the body in the tank, to stall the investigation. Who had the keys, knew she was alone, was most likely male, knew about the tank and could carry her up the ladder???????

    I have studied this footage many times. It seems she is playing with a child who is out of sight in the hallway. The pressing of all the buttons is so when and if the child gets on, she will have more time with them. Notice how she lowers her body to a child’s height when she first peeks out. Playing with them with funny hand movements. Of course all of this is totally irrelevant. It did not cause her death. She had no way of getting through the locked roof door, would not have taken all her clothes off, could not have lifted the tank cover, and then replaced it while floating in the tank. Look for the obvious: someone tried to rape her, she resisted, and ended up dead. Then hid the body in the tank, to stall the investigation. Who had the keys, knew she was alone, was most likely male, knew about the tank and could carry her up the ladder???????

  • Tori dehner

    Tori dehner Northern Ky

    Is it possible that on top of her maybe being in a manic state, or drunk/high/impaired, that she may have forgot the floor of her new room? That she pressed every button to check every level quickly? No rationally, obviously but, could it be possible? LOVE the show. ❤️🙏🏼

    Is it possible that on top of her maybe being in a manic state, or drunk/high/impaired, that she may have forgot the floor of her new room?
    That she pressed every button to check every level quickly? No rationally, obviously but, could it be possible?
    LOVE the show. ❤️🙏🏼

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