It has even been said that the only way to leave this hotel was with your death, it has also seen its share of suicides.
So without further delay welcome to the Hotel Cecil.
Known as Cecil Hotel, Hotel Cecil, and The Cecil.
Is a budget hotel in downtown Los Angeles located at 640 S. Main Street it opened in 1927 with 600 guest rooms.
Construction on the Hotel started in 1924 by hotelier William Banks Hanner, as a destination for business travelers and tourists. The hotel cost $1 million dollars to complete and boasted an opulent marble lobby with stained glassed windows, potted palms, and alabaster statuary. However Hanner didn't know that the united states would sink into the great depression five years after the hotel opened, and Main Street, which the hotel stood on would become known as Skid Row. And by the 1950's the hotel gained a reputation as a residence for transients.
Reputation for murder and suicide
In 2013, the Cecil Hotel became the main focus of a viral internet video, which showed surveillance footage of the bizarre behavior of a young Canadian student, Elisa Lam in one of the hotels elevators, prior to her disappearance and subsequent discovery of her body in a water supply cistern on the hotel roof.
This in turn led to a deeper interest in the hotels past, which had long been rumored as a place of terrible happenings and recent research has revealed a prolific history of suicide, murder or unexplained deaths at the hotel since it was first opened.
The Cecil however seems to be so disproportionately blighted by tragedy and violence even when compared to other hotels in deprived parts of the city one really wonders whether this building is cursed, or if there are negative forces inside.
Elizabeth Short, the victim of the Black Dahlia murder, the city's best known unsolved killing, supposedly made the Cecil her last stop before her death in 1947, though such information is disputed.
The Cecil is also notable for having been the reported residence for serial killers Richard Ramirez in 1985 and Jack Unterweger in 1991.
Timeline of suicides, murder or unexplained deaths associated with the Cecil:
On Nov 19, 1931. Los Angeles Times reported that the search for 46 year old W.K Norton from Manhattan Beach was over. He checked into Cecil as "James Willys of Chicago" a week earlier and, once in his room, had taken a number of poison capsules. This appears to be the earliest know suicide at the hotel.
Less than a year later, the L.A. Times reported another suicide at the hotel. 25 year old Benjamin Dodich, had shot himself in the head in his room and his body was found the next morning by a maid.
In late July 1934, 53 year old former Army Medical Corps Sergeant Louis D. Borden slashed his throat with a razor in his room. Mr. Borden left a note mentioning his ill health.
In March 1937, it was reported that Grace E. Magro had fallen from the ninth story window. Police were unsure as to whether this had been an accident or suicide, and her fall had been broken by suspended telephone wiring which was entangled about her body. Ms. Magro died later in the hospital.
In January 1938, 35 year old Roy Thompson a marine fireman took a suicide leap from the hotel's top floor. He had been registered there for several weeks and his body was found on the skylight of a building next door.
In May 1939, another sailor, 39 year old Erwin C. Neblett of the USS Wright died in his room after taking poison.
In January of 1940, 45 year old Dorothy Sceiger a school teacher also took poison and was found near death.
In Sep 1944, 19 year old Dorothy Jean Purcell threw her newborn son from a window. Apparently unaware she was pregnant, Purcell hadn't wanted to wake her sleeping partner, 38 year old shoe salesmen, when she woke with stomach pains, so she went to the nearby restroom and delivered the baby herself. Believing the child to be dead, she threw it from a window and the tiny body was later found on the roof of an adjacent building. After hearing testimony, a juror declared her account to be almost beyond belief, and it was determined she be charged with homicide. However, matters were finally concluded in January of the following year, when Purcell was found not guilty by reason of insanity.
In November 1947, 35 year old Robert Smith of Long Beach had met his death after falling from the seventh floor.
On Oct 22, 1954, Helen Gumee, stepped from her window, also on the seventh floor, and landed on top of the hotels marquee. She had registered as Margaret Brown a week before.
On Feb 11, 1962, 50 year old Julia Frances Moore, climbed out of her eighth floor room window and landed in a second story interior light well. She left no note, just a bus ticket from St. Louis, 59 cents in change, and an Illinois bank book showing a balance of $1,800 dollars.
On Oct 12, 1962, 27 year old Pauline Otton, had been arguing with her estranged husband Dewey in a room on the ninth floor when he decided he'd had enough and went out to get some dinner. In his absence, she decided she too had had enough and jumped from the window, landing on top of a pedestrian, 65 year old George Gianinni. Both were killed instantly. Since no one saw Pauline jump, police initially thought that there had been a double suicide, but on closer examination, it was found that George had his hands in his pockets and was still wearing shoes, which would have been unlikely if he'd fallen ninety feet.
On June 4, 1964, "Pigeon Goldie" Osgood, a retired telephone operator was found dead in her ransacked room by hotel worker distributing phone books. Ms. Osgood, who had earned her nickname due to the fact that she befriended and fed the birds in nearby Pershing square, had been stabbed, strangled and raped and near her body were found the Dodgers cap she always wore and a paper sack full of birdseed. Soon after, Jacques B. Ehlinger, 29, was seen walking through Pershing Square in bloodstained clothing. He was arrested, but cleared of the crime, for which no one was ever arrested.
On Dec 20, 1975, a still-unidentified woman, described as between 20 - 30 years old, white, 5'4"; 118 Ibs. Brown hair; brown/hazel eyes, with multiple scars to both wrists, jumped from her 12th floor window onto a second floor roof. She had registered in room 327 four days before, on Dec 16th, 1975. She was wearing two blue sweaters, purple and black, navy blue pants, navy blue coat, black shoes and a beige bra. She also had a black purse and a yellow - metal key.
On Feb 19, 2013, the naked body of 21 year old Elisa Lam A Canadian student, was found inside one of the water supply tanks on the hotel roof. Lam had gone missing almost three weeks earlier, on Jan 31, 2013, and her decomposed body was discovered by a maintenance worker in one of the rooftop water tanks, after guests had complained about low water pressure and water that "tasted funny". Authorities latein the elevator r ruled Lam's death as an accidental drowning. Video surveillance footage taken from inside an elevator shortly before her disappearance showed Lam acting strangely, pressing multiple elevator buttons, hiding in the corner of the elevator, and waving her arms wildly, causing wide speculation about the cause of her death. After the elevator video was made public, many started to believe in a more paranormal explanation, some even going to the extent to claim Lam was possessed. Lam was thought to have had bipolar disorder, which could have contributed to her death as well as her strange behavior in the elevator.
On June 13, 2015, the L.A Times reported that the body of a 28 year old male had been found outside the hotel. Some conjectured that the male may have committed suicide by jumping from the hotel, though a spokesperson for the county coroner informed the newspaper that the cause of death had not been determined and that his name would not be released until his family could be notified.