Watch the full CCTV video of Elisa Lam in the Cecil Hotel elevator, in real time

People think it’s been edited


Before the Netflix documentary, the way most of us knew about the Elisa Lam case was after seeing the viral video of her from CCTV in an elevator at the Cecil Hotel.

The video was first released by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on its website whilst Elisa was still a missing person. More than two weeks after she was declared missing, Elisa’s body was found naked in a water tank on the roof of the hotel.

The video went viral, soon getting over 25 million views and being reposting all over YouTube and social media. Nobody seemed to be able to explain Elisa Lam’s behaviour in the elevator footage. Who was she gesturing at? Why is the door not closing or the lift moving? Why did she look so disorientated and scared? Who was she hiding in the corner of the elevator from?

Quite often the video is snipped up into smaller clips – so here is the full four minute video, in real time.

Here’s the full CCTV video of Elisa Lam in the elevator:

We see the elevator door open and Elisa Lam entering the elevator. She then starts pressing the buttons and waits in the corner as though waiting for the elevator to go. She then creeps towards the doors and jumps out, looking to either side as though she’s checking if someone is there. Elisa Lam then backs into the wall of the elevator, hiding.

She then approaches the doors again, jumping out and stepping in a square motion. Elisa then leaves the lift, and hovers outside for a while before coming back in and gesturing with her hands and pressing the buttons again. The elevator still doesn’t move, and she steps out running her fingers through her hair. This is when she starts making more hand gestures, which have been described as looking like she’s “conjuring a spirit”.

At around the 2:30 mark Elisa exits the shot to the left, and it is here where people believe you can see the edge of another person’s shoe – as it doesn’t match the angle Elisa was seen leaving at, so can’t be hers.

From then, Elisa isn’t in the CCTV clip, but it keeps rolling. Internet sleuths have pointed out that time stamp on the video is blurry and you can’t make out the numbers. They claim this means the video has been tampered with or edited in someway. People claim a whole 53 seconds of the video have been removed – and this could show another person there with Elisa Lam. People also think the video may have been slowed down at points to make her movements appear more strange, and have noticed the elevator door suddenly jump around the 2:57 mark – as though the video has been edited.

The door opens and closes again twice after, much more smoothly these times. At 3:59, the clip is over.

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

Related stories recommended by this writer:

A body language expert has analysed the CCTV video of Elisa Lam at the Cecil Hotel

Is the Cecil Hotel from the Netflix doc still open today? Here’s what it’s like now

• Elisa Lam Tumblr: Her blog is still online today and this is what it looks like

 Elisa Lam theories: What could have happened at the Cecil Hotel to cause her death?