The series has already claimed the number one spot on the streaming service’s list of most-watched TV shows. Its popularity is likely due to the utterly gripping storyline, which follows the real-life disappearance of Elisa Lam, a Canadian student who traveled to Los Angeles for a vacation.
The mysterious tale begins when Lam checks into The Cecil, a 19-story hotel that’s located in the heart of L.A.’s Skid Row. Since it was built in 1927, the complex has become infamous. Not only was it the temporary home of renowned serial killer Richard Ramirez (AKA the Night Stalker), but it was also the site of several deaths. While around 12 people have taken their lives at The Cecil, there have been countless other unsolved murders.
So, what was a 21-year-old girl doing at a sketchy hotel? The biggest motive was money, since Lam had been staying at budget-friendly hostels and motels during her trip. But this time was different. When she didn’t contact her parents on her expected departure date, they informed the LAPD, who found a string of terrifying videos featuring Lam in what appeared to be danger.