The Strange Similarities Between Elisa Lam and Beth Short, aka The Black Dahlia

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It's been a peculiar, and a sad few days.  

On Tuesday, a missing Canadian traveler, Elisa Lam, was discovered inside the rooftop water tank of the Cecil Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. 

That hotel happens to be one of the stops on Esotouric's tour Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice, and if you go looking for information about the place, you'll be sent our way. So this week we've given a number of interviews to reporters from Canada, New York and here in Los Angeles, clarifying the history of the hotel, its changing demographics, litany of suicides, and the peculiar bit of trivia that two serial killers stayed there during their sprees.

LINKS: CNN previews Cecil Hotel death lore from our Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice tour. Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice tour creator Kim Cooper talks about the Cecil Hotel’s grim history on CBC Canada (link), on CNN (link), on NBC4 (link), on KNX (link), in The Sun (link) and in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (link).

hotel-cecil-ad for web

Debunking L.A. myths before they form is sort of a hobby of ours, so when two different reporters asked "And is it true that this is one of the last places that the Black Dahlia was seen?" we quickly set them straight. And yet…

Although Beth Short, the victim in the notorious and still-unsolved Black Dahlia murder, has no known association with the Cecil Hotel, there are a number of startling similarities between her story — the subject of our most popular crime bus tour — and Elisa Lam's.  

• Both have names derived from Elizabeth. 

• Both were women in their early 20s, traveling alone, frequenting public transportation. 

• Both of them had loose travel plans that were known only to themselves. 

• They were both petite, attractive brunettes, with personalities described as charismatic and outgoing. Both also suffered from depression.

• Each one traveled from San Diego to Downtown Los Angeles in January.

• Each was last seen in a Downtown hotel.

• Neither woman's disappearance was immediately reported. Both were missing for a number of days before being discovered, dead, in a shocking location.   

• And the deaths of both of these unfortunate young women has inspired enormous media attention and speculation.

So we wait, for answers to the newest mystery to unfold in this mystery-drenched neighborhood.

With no results from Elisa Lam's autopsy and toxicology results still weeks away, the question lingers: was she murdered, or was this just some bizarre and perhaps unexplainable accident? And if it was murder, will the similarities continue to pile up? 

For the sake of all who loved her, may the answer to this question be a resounding no. 

RIP.