Landmark with Dark History

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel on Netflix
(Above source: Wikimedia)

In 2017, the City of Los Angeles granted the Hotel Cecil landmark status. Built in 1924 and designed by architect Loy Lester Smith, the hotel’s distinctive Beaux Art architecture was deemed worthy of preservation.

The Cecil’s beautiful design, however, is overshadowed by something horrific – the string of suicides and murders that have occurred within its walls. Even serial killers Richard Ramirez, aka ‘The Night Stalker,’ and possible Ramirez copycat Jack Unterweger were Cecil guests during their homicidal rampages.

Today, February 10, Netflix debuts a four-episode docuseries Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, exploring a chilling history that includes the 2013 disappearance of Canadian college student Elisa Lam. Lam’s body was later discovered in the water tank on the Cecil’s roof.

The Netflix show is not the first series to take on the topic.

The three-episode Horror at the Cecil Hotel (2017) looks at the Lam mystery, the bloody 1962 murders of an older man and younger woman, and the aforementioned Ramirez. You can watch the show with a subscription to Discovery+;  or buy the entire mini-season starting at $3.99 from Google, Fandango Now and other providers.

(Top image source: YouTube video)

About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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