A body language expert has analysed the CCTV video of Elisa Lam at the Cecil Hotel
‘There is no indication of fear, there is definitely some element of play here’
A body language expert has had their say on the viral CCTV video footage of Elisa Lam in the elevator of the Cecil Hotel. The clip is one of the stand out parts of the case – after being released on the LAPD website it went viral, and has since had nearly 30 million views on YouTube.
Elisa Lam went missing on February 1st 2013 – whilst she was a guest at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles. Her case is now subject of a new Netflix documentary, Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel.
Police released the footage, and it is the last time Elisa was seen alive. Nobody seemed to be able to explain Elisa Lam’s strange and erratic behaviour in the elevator footage. On February 19th, she was found dead in a water tank on the roof of the hotel. Her death was ruled as accidental drowning, but there are a lot of theories which claim otherwise, with a lot of the thoughts stemming from what people see in the video. People think there may be dark forces in the hotel, or maybe there was someone else there outside the elevator? Some even think Elisa was part of a strange elevator game or conjuring spirits.
A seven-minute video by ReeTV Documentaries on YouTube titled “Elisa Lam: CCTV Body Language Analysis” takes a deep dive even further into the viral clip. The body language analysis says that Elisa Lam is “relaxed” and “mischievous” in the CCTV video footage from the Cecil Hotel elevator, and not “anxious and scared” as other theories believe. Here’s what it had to say in full.
Watch the body language analysis of the Elisa Lam CCTV video from inside the Cecil Hotel elevator here:
The analysis starts by saying that as Elisa first enters the lift she is not in fear, her wide arm swings and strides indicate she is relaxed and not in any rush. After pressing the buttons and moving towards the back of the lift she is still relaxed, with her hands by her side.
She then looks out of the lift “in a playful manner” and moves to the corner of the lift. Then her hands “adopt the fig leaf configuration” and her feet are close together, which is now consistent with anxiety and low confidence. However, the body language expert says “we can clearly see a mischievous smile” and “you can clearly see her face has been pixilated to hide the fact that she is smiling”.
When Elisa then steps out the lift again, this is described as having a “playful quality about it”. For a couple of seconds, whilst her hands are still in the fig leaf configuration, Elisa’s feet widen. The stance is said to display greater confidence and is “not consistent with fear”.
Next is what the video says is the most interesting part of the clip. For about 12 seconds, Elisa has her elbows out laterally with her armpit exposed. She has her hands in her hair, and the movement is described as “fluid, slow and deliberate” which is described as a “strong and highly reliable indicator of sexual interest”. The person of her interest is said to be either there outside the lift, or in her thoughts.
She then keeps her hands up as she reenters the lift and steadies herself with her hands on the door. According to the video, this suggests she may be feeling lightheaded. She’s then “clearly acting in a mischevious manner” as she presses multiple buttons again.
Leaving the lift again, Elisa puts her hair behind her ears which is her wanting to become “more courageous or assertive” but also is described as an indication of anxiety as she touches a body part above her shoulders.
When Elisa starts gesturing with her hands, the body language analysis says she is again smiling, and the way she gestures suggests “low sincerity and/or a higher level of anxiety”. She then displays a “series of fairly dramatic no verbal maps” which may be the body language of a conversation taking place with someone who is out of view, or a sort of rehearsal for an anticipated conversation Elisa is imagining having soon. They say it doesn’t look like she is in fear. She goes up onto her toes on her right foot several times, which is said to indicate excitement, joy or optimism.
The video ends by saying: “Elisa is playing a game of hide and seek or something similar in this video. Although at times she displays some anxiety, there is no indication of fear, there is definitely some element of play here.”
It has also been claimed 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.
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 history of all the death and violence that has happened at the Cecil Hotel
• Elisa Lam Tumblr: Her blog is still online today and this is what it looks like
• Where is Amy Price now? The Cecil Hotel manager from the Netflix documentary
• What happened in the Christopher Dorner case? The LAPD killer in Netflix Cecil Hotel doc