29 – The Mysterious Death of Elisa Lam

April 03, 2017

On February 1st, 2013, 21 year old Canadian college student Elisa Lam vanished while staying at the Cecil hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Her nude, decomposing body isn’t found until¬†the morning of February 19th, after hotel residents complain of foul-tasting water. A strange, four minute hotel elevator camera video capturing the last moments she’s ever seen alive goes viral, and a murder mystery is born that has the internet obsessed to this day over what really happened. Find out what conclusion I come to on today’s Timesuck.¬†

Elisa Lam

Another shot of Elisa

Elisa Lam (center)

The Cecil Hotel

Another Shot of the Cecil

Side shot of Cecil and its water towers

The Cecil’s water towers


Carmen Esparza

Cecil serial killer Jack Unterweger

Cecil serial killer Richard “Night Stalker” Ramirez


  1. Pete Sciarrino says:

    Round here, we always stand up straight!
    Interesting episode Dan, I liked how you discussed mental illness and the fact that we should look for signs.

    1. admin says:

      Thanks Pete! And I like the Counting Crows reference : ) Still love that first album.

  2. Nemo says:

    Very “Unsolved Mysteries” Suck this week; Thanks Dan! On a side note, the “Elevator Sequence” button pressing phenomenon in the video has also been the subject of a number of urban legends (aka creepy-pastas) concerning the paranormal concept of dimensional transposition via odd sequential sequences (eg. pressing a number of buttons in a certain order, dialing certain numbers at certain times of day, etc.).

    It’s goofy, to be sure, but videos like this one don’t help stem the spooky speculations, especially when one considers that the more likely circumstances are closer to what you’ve surmised (Sad Mental History of Ms. Lam). If you didn’t already during your initial research, cross-search the term “creepy-pasta” with “Elisa Lam” for some more bizarre stories.

    PS: You should consider doing a cross-promotion with the creators of the Invisi-Cloak as an addon accessory for the Laser Rocket; No self-respecting L Ron Illuminati Flat Earth Lizard would ever be caught without both, after all.

  3. Hattie says:

    Check out this insane coincidence in the case –


    1. admin says:

      Thanks for that video Hattie! Yeah, it really is such a strange case.

  4. Brad Leffert says:

    great episode, as usual Dan. I have a topic idea for ya, Toxic Charity. When people go on missionary trips to build a school, or a hospital they leave behind the buildings, but no people to staff them. The missionaries get all of the feel goods without any of the responsibility

  5. Hrothmeir says:

    This story was always a little special for me; I spent six months living in LA, away from Oklahoma, and this happened right in the middle of that time. Other tragedies that occurred in those six months? A woman killed herself by jumping from the apartment tower I was living in, my dad died of undiagnosed liver cancer (not in LA, but still in that time frame), and Movie 43 was released.

    1. admin says:

      Wow. Sorry about your dad. That’s a lot of bad stuff happening in a short amount of time!

  6. Brian Clark says:

    ” Are you sure you’re a Satanist, or just a man that loves to ruin things for no damn good reason. ” – a very intelligenter man with a funny last name than makes me think of seman…aka. You.

    Haha huge fan, always keep one hand for hatin and one hand for lovin!!

  7. Justin Lodge says:

    This show gave me the serious creeps, I can’t stop thinking about it.
    Dan, I would like you to do a show on the “Bohemian Grove.” This is a secret wooded area in northern California where the rich and powerful (aka illuminati) meet annually to supposedly rub elbows, run around naked in the woods together, and worship Satan. Presidents from Nixon to Clinton to the Bushes have gone to this event.
    It started out as an artists’ colony retreat from San Francisco in the early 20th century. At some point the rich and powerful took it over as their own.
    The most well known reporting on this is from Alex Jones, which is a dubious source. I would like to find out what really happens here every year, and if people are really worshipping ancient blood thirsty gods.
    Thanks Dan!

    1. admin says:

      Thanks Justin! Yeah, Alex Jones is a little dubious. Ha. That dude is a NUT. This topic is on the list though. Curious what goes on there.

  8. Andy Davin says:

    thank you for all the awesome podcasts! I work as an executive chef at a place called north country brewing company and Tuesday morning i have chefs lined up the kitchen door at 7:00 am… (they are not scheduled till 8:00 am ) waiting for me to unlock the door and let them starting suckin! we work the first 60-90 mins of our shift in silence to hear the time suck from our super shitty stereo.. while we dont listen the day you put it into the world i wanted to let you know you make our Tuesday a little better than any other day!
    Andy Davin Executive Chef
    Norht Country Brewing Company
    Slippery Rock PA 16057

  9. David Jessup says:

    I always wanted to find out what happened but I never bothered to look into it. Thanks as always for doing the work for me. Seems like it was just mental illness. Sad but not as evil as I was thinking it would be.

  10. John Dooley says:

    I think she was possessed.

    1. admin says:

      Who knows? If possession is a real possibility, she’s a strong candidate for sure.

  11. Isabella R. says:

    Omg! I went off the grid for a while, I hadn’t realized you made this into an episode! Thank you so much!!!!!

    1. admin says:

      You bet! Hope you liked it!

  12. Hunter Bloodsworth says:

    Dear phone,

    I will never not visit timesuckpodcast.com on a monday.

    Dan, these podcasts are by far the best shit I’ve heard in a while. Thanks for bettering society with goodness like this!!

    Love it,


    1. admin says:

      Wow! Thanks Hunter. What a nice message. I really appreciate you taking the time to send it my way. Have a great week and keep on suckin’!

  13. Jake Sheppard says:

    Your theory with her knowledge of the movie and the mental disorder all combined into one tragic event really makes since. I’ve listened to I think 3 other videos going through the case, and even did some research of my own. I truly think you have found the most plausible reasoning or the actual cause of this strange event. I’m going to keep sucking till my lips are chapped!

    1. admin says:

      Thanks so much Jake! Suck it with everything you’ve got.

  14. Doctor Professor Steve says:

    Within the first 30 seconds of this podcast:
    “the clip … has been viewed almost 20 times as of today”

    Speaker good-er, Cummins!

    keep up the good work master sucker

  15. Anthony says:

    You know, one possible explanation for her being naked wraps back to your observation of mentally ill people having moments of clarity.

    Swimming while clothed is very difficult. Perhaps she got in the water, had a moment of clearheadedness, realized she couldn’t tread water fully dressed, and stripped down in an attempt to keep her head above water.

    Just a thought…

    And until I get caught up, I’m gonna suck every day.

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