I have a strange obsession lately, it started with a fixation of the Investigation Discovery network (seriously, my tv stays on that channel) and I have started searching for the seasons of the show Disappeared. It's fascinating, I can't wrap my head around the idea that adults can just go for a walk and never be seen again. Which brought to light the Elisa Lam case. 


If you are not familiar with this case, Elisa Lam was a Canadian tourist in LA in January 2013, who went missing January 31st and was found 3 weeks later in the concrete water tanks on the roof of the infamous Hotel Cecil (Richard Ramirez, the Night Stalker lived there in the 80's and it is the home of many suspicious deaths since). 


The weirdest part of this case is the surveillance video from the elevators on the night she went missing. It is a four minute video of this woman first getting on an elevator and hitting a button, she stands back, waiting for the doors to close, pretty normal behavior, but then the doors don't close and she starts acting bizarre, she steps out looks right then left in exaggerated head movements, then hides in the corner. Pretty soon she steps out completely and is gesturing like she is speaking to someone off camera, then after a minute or so she leaves, a minute later the doors close and the elevator does what it is supposed to do. Seriously YouTube this, I can't do justice to the unsettling feeling you get watching it. 


She had to be cut out of the water tank she was found in which begs the obvious question, how the hell did she get in there in the first place?  


Now I have discovered a few factors that can explain some of this case. First, she was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and on various medications for it (Bipolar requires a mood stabilizer like lamictal or keppra added to antidepressants) all that was found in her system was Wellbutrin. Ok so the weird elevator behavior can be explained by a manic episode from not taking her meds. This doesn't explain how she got in the concrete water tank, or even how she got on the roof without setting off alarms. Ok I can explain that away too, it's an old building, alarms don't always work right or there's always the fire escape. 


I am by no means trying to explain away the unexplainable but let's be real, her erratic behavior is a result of a manic episode, doesn't make the video any less creepy though, her death can also be explained by this but I'm fairly certain superhuman strength isn't a symptom of Bipolar, and that's what is tripping me up. 


Other than this case, I watch these shows as much as I can (amounts to about 1 to 2 nights a week) nothing is scarier than real life mysteries that haven't been solved, and it's just baffling how does someone just walk off the face of the earth? SOMEBODY knows the answers but we may never find out. 


I have no reasonable explanation for my morbid fascination, I just love a good mystery.

Published by Liz Zemlicka