Gone at Midnight: The Tragic True Story Behind the Unsolved Internet Sensation
A Los Angeles hotel with a haunting history. A disturbing video followed by a shocking discovery. A cold-case mystery that has become an internet phenomenon--and for one determined journalist, a life-changing quest toward uncomfortable truths...
Investigative journalist Jake Anderson explores the mysterious death of Elisa Lam, a 21-year-old student who was found dead in the water tank of a hotel with a sordid history of suicides, unexplained deaths, and even ghosts. The Lam case became an internet sensation through a hotel security video that went viral. This book give new insights into the case that has perplexed millions.
Twenty-one-year-old Vancouver student Elisa Lam was last heard from on January 31, 2013, after she checked into downtown L.A.'s Cecil Hotel--a 600-room building with a nine-decade history of scandal and tragedy. The next day, Elisa vanished. A search of the hotel yielded nothing. More than a week later, complaints by guests of foul-smelling tap water led to a grim discovery: Elisa's nude body floating in a rooftop water tank, in an area extremely difficult to access without setting off alarms. The only apparent clue was a disturbing surveillance video of Elisa, uploaded to YouTube in hopes of public assistance.
As the eerie elevator video went viral, so did the questions of its tens of millions of viewers. Was Elisa's death caused by murder, suicide, or paranormal activity? Was it connected to the Cecil's sinister reputation? And in that video, what accounted for Elisa's strange behavior? With the help of web sleuths and investigators from around the world, journalist Jake Anderson set out to uncover the facts behind a death that had become a macabre internet meme, as well as a magnet for conspiracy theorists.
In poring through Elisa's revealing online journals and social media posts, Anderson realized he shared more in common with the young woman than he imagined. His search for justice and truth became a personal journey, a dangerous descent into one of America's quiet epidemics. Along the way, he exposed a botched investigation and previously unreported disclosures from inside sources who suggest there may have been a corporate conspiracy and a police cover-up. In GONE AT MIDNIGHT Anderson chronicles eye-opening discoveries about who Elisa Lam really was and what--or whom--she was running from, and presents shocking new evidence that may re-open one of the most chilling and obsessively followed true crime cases of the century.