Gone at Midnight: The Mysterious Death of Elisa Lam

Gone at Midnight: The Mysterious Death of Elisa Lam

by Jake Anderson


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Fortune Magazine “Most Anticipated Books of 2020” Selection
A Goodreads Featured Release for February 2020

Oxygen’s List of “Best True Crime Books of 2020” Selection

“The Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles is a palpable presence in Gone at Midnight: The Mysterious death of Elisa Lam by Jake Anderson… While allowing for other possible interpretations (and minimizing the daunting logistics), Anderson believes that Lam was murdered, the victim of a “traumatic sexual attack” by one or more assailants. Or something. Given the checkered history of the Cecil Hotel (which was recently named to the Los Angeles registry of historic landmarks), I wouldn’t rule out Jack the Ripper.”
—The New York Times

A Los Angeles hotel with a haunting history. A missing young woman. 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. Perfect for Murderinos looking for their next fix…

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.

“Outstanding…true crime buffs won’t want to miss this gripping search for the truth.”
Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780806540054
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 02/25/2020
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 241,793
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Jake Anderson is a writer, filmmaker, investigative journalist, activist, and digital publisher. He runs the popular website The Ghost Diaries and is a contributing journalist for The Anti Media and multiple alternative media outlets. He has been a featured guest on Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis, Spaced Out, Nocturnal Frequency, West of the Rockies, and Common Ground. Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, he’s a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz and currently lives near Albuquerque, New Mexico. Find more of his work at TheGhostDiaries.com, where he analyzes cold cases and unexplained mysteries. Follow him on twitter @OverTheMoonSF.

Table of Contents

Author's Note ix

Part 1 Discovery 1

Chapter 1 Missing 3

Chapter 2 Found 18

Chapter 3 The Investigation Begins 25

Chapter 4 Rise of the Websleuths 39

Chapter 5 The West Coast Tour 54

Chapter 6 City of Demons 69

Chapter 7 Further Down the Rabbit Hole 80

Chapter 8 The "Suicide Hotel" 89

Chapter 9 The 14th Floor 103

Chapter 10 The Autopsy 114

Part 2 Serotonin and Synchronicity 121

Chapter 11 The Art of the Meltdown 123

Chapter 12 David and Yinna Lam vs. the Cecil Hotel 140

Chapter 13 Friends and Enemies of Occam's Razor 149

Chapter 14 Inbound Train 162

Chapter 15 A World with Evil 172

Chapter 16 Dark Synchronicity 185

Chapter 17 The Last Bookstore 195

Chapter 18 Return to the Cecil 206

Part 3 Coverup 231

Chapter 19 Revisiting the Cause of Death 233

Chapter 20 Whoever Chases Monsters 247

Chapter 21 Inside Job 254

Chapter 22 A Missing Element and A Bombshell 264

Chapter 23 What Happened to Elisa Lam? 287

Acknowledgments 325

Source Notes 327

Index 339

About the Author 351

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