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3/20: BACK TO THE DROWNING POOL W/ JAKE ANDERSON

BACK TO THE DROWNING POOL

I have been noticing there has been a so-called exposé in the media about Spring Break. I laugh every time I see the promos for this on Fox News because it is like they are exposing some sinister plot where college kids go out do drugs, have sex and remain in a haze drug and alcohol induced hangovers.

When out of control partying is news, I laugh and change the channel to the Cartoon Network.

It is like the reporters appear to be morally superior and they have never done anything like shake in a bikini, used a beer bong or barfed in a trash can.

I would be embarrassed if a news editor told me that my job for the day was to show up with a news crew and report on the twerking, naked volley ball, and the drunken antics of sand encrusted young people saying that it is a major crisis.

Detroit still doesn’t have clean water and I am supposed to care about this?

One thing that I can remember about Spring Break is the bad hotels you wind up being stuck in. It was always a party on the cheap and so you end up rooming in a small area with 5 guys in a hotel that’s only claim to fame is that the hotel clerk was gunned down in a robbery attempt or that a woman was actually found dead in the box springs of a mattress in a room you once slept in.

That actually happened – and actually, it happens a lot. No one really bothers to check under the beds of a cheap hotel and maybe you should; that is of course, if you are brave enough.

Over the last 30 years, there have been a disturbing number of hotels and motels finding dead bodies either under hotel mattresses or in the box springs of their beds.

In 1982, a man who was involved in a car-theft ring was murdered by his cohorts in their hotel room. After poisoning their victim with a cyanide-laced hamburger and then strangling him, the murderers hid his body under the mattress and checked out of the North Bergan, N.J. motel room. The victim wasn’t found until four days later. But during those four days, four different families stayed in the room. Each complained of a foul smell, but no one checked under the bed.

In 1988, a woman’s remains were found in the box spring of a Mineola, N.Y. motel room nearly a week after she had died. There were numerous complaints about the smell and at least two other guests had inhabited the room (and slept on the bed) with the body before she was discovered.

In 1994, a body was found under a bed at a Traveler’s Hotel near the Miami International Airport. How long the body was there is unclear, but it was found only after a German tourist complained about a disgusting odor in his room.

In August of 1994, another German tourist complained of a foul smell coming from his room, this time in Fort Lauderdale. After further inspection, the staff discovered the rotting remains of a body under the room’s platform bed. Adding to the insanity, the staff themselves had noticed the smell days earlier, but didn’t fully inspect the room until the guest had complained.

In July of 1996, a woman’s body was found under a mattress a full 10 days after she had died in a Pasadena, Calif. Travelodge. Guests had complained for several days about the smell, but the motel staff was unable to locate the source of the odor for over a week.

In June of 1999, a German couple slept above the remains of a rapidly decomposing body in the Burgundy Motor Inn in Atlantic City. Maybe it’s time to ask the Germans about all these bodies they keep finding.

In July of 2003, a man checked into the Capri Hotel near Kansas City, Mo. He immediately complained about a terrible smell in his room, but was told by the staff that nothing could be done about it. So he stayed in the room and slept on the bed for the next three days, at which point the cleaning staff came in to make up the room and discovered a decomposed body under the bed.

In January of 2010, the worst-case body-under-the-bed scenario of all took place in Memphis, TN. Sony Millbrook disappeared, leaving no trace of her whereabouts. The Budget Inn, where she had been living, rented her room out after he disappeared for 47 days before anything was done. In March, investigators were called to the hotel after a foul smell had been reported. They found Millbrook’s very decomposed body in the bed frame seven weeks after she disappeared.

Just last September while attending a convention, I stayed in a hotel wing that had just been re opened after being shut down after a man murdered a prostitute and then hacked up her body making sure to hide every body part in various areas.

I didn’t know this until I hooked up with a friend for lunch – who was surprised that I was at the particular hotel. He even stated that the room where it happened was three doors down from where I stayed – I guess that explained why a woman in the hotel asked me if I would walk her to the lobby for some Gatorade.

I know that many people are fans of the television show American Horror Story. Last season, it was called “Hotel” and I am sure the producers of the show themselves could tell horror stories about staying in cheap and chilling hotels.

Set in Downtown Los Angeles, American Horror Story is the story of the Hotel Cortez; a 90-year-old hotel built by serial killer James Patrick March. But there’s a real story behind this dark and twisted location, the story of The Cecil Hotel which was the real life inspiration for the Hotel season.

The Cecil Hotel opened in 1924 as a 700-room upper class hotel in what was considered at the time a swanky section of Downtown, Los Angeles. During its early years, it enjoyed great success as a tourist destination and as a residence for the middle class in Los Angeles. However, by the 1930s changed as the Cecil became known as a budget hotel for traveling salesmen and other transients.

Now, the Hotel has been ground zero for the brutal murders, crimes, and strange occurrences.

Elisa Lam, a 21 year-old student from Canada, was staying at the Cecil when she was reported missing on January 31st 2013. Two weeks later, with the case going nowhere, the LAPD released a video of Lam. Taken from one of the hotel’s elevator security cameras, the video shows a frightened woman acting erratically as though being perused by someone off camera.

It wasn’t until hotel guests began complaining about poor water pressure and the odd taste and color of the water coming out of the taps that the mystery of where Elisa Lam went was finally answered. On February 19th, employees attempting to repair one of the rooftop water tanks found deceased Elisa Lam floating face up in the tank. Elisa Lam’s official cause of death was ruled a drowning, however, the mystery that surrounds it had only added the legend of the Cecil.

The case is now 5 years old and it still is a mystery and while many sleuths think they have solved the case—the paranormal activity before and after the case has not been explained away so easily.

In the world of the paranormal – there are always unanswered questions about strange disappearances and deaths.

Odd events and trails that lead to the bizarre capture the public imagination – the case of Elisa lam is no exception. This case has haunted me because of the inexplicable details and strange coincidences that seem to get weirder the further down the rabbit hole you go.

It is difficult to understand what happened – and the stories surrounding the main story appear as if they could be the plot of a movie dealing with some satanic super natural occurrence, like in the films “Rosemary’s Baby” or “The Shining.”

The terrifying part is that a story that was similar to Elisa Lam’s did appear on the screen in 2005 – eight years before the event.

There was a horror film that didn’t remain in theaters long but remains another example of a movie that fore-structures a very gruesome tale in our dark history. The film was called “Dark Water.” The film was a remake of an earlier Japanese film of the same name, based on a short story by Koji Suzuki.

In that film, a mother and daughter move into a rundown apartment building, which is soon revealed to be haunted.

A dysfunctional elevator and dark discolored water gushing from the building’s faucets eventually lead them to the building’s rooftop water tank, where they discover the body of a young girl who had been reported missing from the building several years earlier.

In the original Japanese film a young Japanese woman climbs on top of the water tank, and falls in while trying to retrieve her purse that she accidentally dropped inside.

The film fore-structured some deadly synchronicity as Elisa Lam was recovered from a water tank atop the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

Lam was a Chinese Canadian college student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

She disappeared January 31st, 2013 under very mysterious circumstances.

The L.A. County Coroner ruled the death “accidental due to drowning” and reported to the media that no traces of drugs or alcohol were found in her body during the autopsy. This would go down as a routine drowning if it weren’t for elevator surveillance tape that recorded Elisa’s behavior only a few moments before she lost her life.

In the four minute video that went viral on YouTube, Elisa is seen pressing all of the elevator buttons and waiting for it to move. It begins to get creepy when the elevator doors do not close. Elisa seems like a curious child, and then begins to act peculiar.

The fact the elevator does not close is eerily frustrated for those that view the video. Elisa reacts by looking around, as if she is expecting someone to get in with her—there is also a moment where she looks like she is trying to hide from someone; however no one appears to be with her.

Then we see that her arms and hands start moving as she appears to be talking to someone, but there is no one seen or there is no one there. She then walks away. The elevator door then shuts and appears to start working. The camera shows that the elevator is empty and that it goes to every floor and stops.

Right after the events of the video, Elisa apparently gained access to the rooftop of the hotel, climbed to its water tank and, somehow, ended up drowning in it. The question how the young girl got through the locked door to the roof without tripping the alarm before climbing into the tank and drowning?

The media reported that her body was found two weeks after her death. The water tank she fell in was the tank that supplied drinking water to the guests of the Cecil Hotel.

A man named Santiago Lopez found the body.

A complaint about the water pressure prompted him to take the elevator to the 15th floor, where he hiked a set of stairs to the roof and then climbed a ladder to reach the ten-foot-tall water tank. He immediately noticed that the hatch was open. Inside, Elisa Lam’s corpse lay face up in the water.

The guests complained about the water’s taste and color. A guest interviewed for the local news stated that the water was “black” of “dark” when it first came out of the faucet – and then it became clear, the water was said to have a very sweet taste to it.

The Cecil Hotel has a very dark history. It is located in an area known as the skid row district of Los Angeles. It is also notorious for numerous suicides and murders, as well as lodging famous serial killers.

Richard Ramirez, known as the satanic and murderous “Night Stalker”, was living at the Cecil Hotel in 1985, on the 14th floor. He was charged 14 dollars a night. In a building filled with transients, he remained unnoticed as he stalked and killed his 13 female victims. He was actually dumping his bloody clothes in the dumpster, at the end of his evening and returned through the back entrance.

Jack Unterweger was a journalist covering crime in Los Angeles for an Austrian magazine in 1991. “Jack” Unterweger was an Austrian serial killer who was convicted of murdering prostitutes in several countries. He was released from prison in 1990 as an example of rehabilitation. He started killing again. He also lived at the Cecil Hotel during his second killing spree, he eventually committed suicide – he was diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder in 1994.

Elizabeth Short, known as The Black Dahlia, is alleged in at least one book to have hung out at the Cecil and drank at the bar next door before she disappeared in 1947; however she was seen at the Baltimore hotel before she went missing.

Now before we go any further, the 2005 movie, Dark Water focused on two main characters—a woman named Dahlia and her daughter, Cecilia.

The ending of the movie is also eerily relevant: The apartment buildings elevator malfunctions and the ghost of Cecilia’s mother braids her hair.

Shortly after the discovery of Elisa Lam’s body, a deadly outbreak of tuberculosis occurred in Skid Row, near the Cecil Hotel. The test kit that was used on the homeless by health officials to detect TB was called LAM-ELISA.

It took four months to determine how or why Elisa Died. They had claimed that she committed suicide, or that she had a mental break down.

But several residents of the 4th floor of the Cecil Hotel, where Lam had been staying, later claimed that the police had not once interviewed them while the investigation was taking place.

This has all caused some to consider that perhaps there was some sort of cover-up being perpetrated, and that there is a conspiracy permeating the Lam case. This has further been bolstered by claims that the elevator video footage has been tampered with and edited. Indeed, it has been pointed out by some astute amateur sleuths that the original, full video appears to have been discreetly replaced with a shorter version missing a minute of footage, and that some parts appear to have been slowed down or changed in some way.

There is indeed a time jump that can be seen in the video, which seems odd. If any of this is true, then why was the video altered? Was it to hide something and if so, what? No one really knows.

Many people absolutely do not buy the official report, and the case only gets weirder from here. Another piece of evidence that has turned up is another piece of hotel surveillance footage that shows Lam entering the building with two men under mysterious circumstances.

The video shows her entering into the hotel with two gentlemen – they had a box and gave it to her. She went the elevator and the men were not seen on video.

Also near the tank where she was found someone had tagged a pump with the words “FECTO CUNT HER SUMA” Latin for “In fact she was a cunt.”

The main piece of evidence is overwhelmingly the final elevator footage of Lam, and of course the extremely odd behavior displayed in the video has led to ideas that Lam was not suffering from a mental breakdown at all, but was rather under the influence of some supernatural force or trying to escape from one.

One last strange little mystery to the case of Elisa Lam is that her Tumblr account continued to post pictures up to 6 months after she died, and there was an update to her blog after her death as well. While certainly creepy, authorities have speculated that this is probably just because she had set up her account to automatically post images for a given amount of time.

Whether that’s the case or not, it is definitely an eerie detail.

I am sure over time there will be many more details that will emerge in the future – and the mysterious case of Elisa Lam will be put to rest.

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