By using this site, you agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Close X

Inside hotel where corpse was found, a dark past

  • Missing Canadian tourist's body was found in water tank at Cecil Hotel
  • Two serial killers, Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger, were guests at hotel in 1980s
Cecil Hotel

The Los Angeles, California, hotel where the body of a missing Canadian tourist was found this week has had a dark yet storied past.

Elisa Lam, 21, was found Tuesday inside one of the water tanks at the Cecil Hotel. A worker found Lam’s body after hotel guests complained about low water pressure. Tests were being conducted to see if the water presented any health risks to hotel guests.

Read more: How did woman's body come to be in L.A. hotel water tank?

Los Angeles police detectives are still trying to determine whether foul play was involved in Lam’s death, but regardless, the hotel built in the 1920s has had a notorious history.

In 1962, a woman jumped from a hotel window, killing herself and a pedestrian she landed on, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Two serial killers also stayed at the hotel on separate occasions. Richard Ramirez, aka the “Night Stalker,” was a guest at the hotel during the 1980s. Ramirez went on a killing spree that terrorized California in 1984 and 1985.

Ramirez was eventually apprehended and later convicted in 1989 of 13 murders. He's currently on death row in California.

Austrian murderer Jack Unterweger also stayed at the hotel in the 1980s. Unterweger was convicted of murdering 18-year-old Margaret Schafer in the mid-1970s and sentenced to life in prison. While incarcerated, he wrote an autobiography, "Fegefeur."

Unterweger was later released on parole in 1990 and became a journalist. While he was out on parole, several prostitutes near the hotel and in Europe were found strangled with their own bra straps. Their deaths were similar Schafer's, so police began investigating Unterweger.

Unterweger was later arrested and found guilty on nine counts of murder in 1994. After his sentencing, Unterweger committed suicide in his prison cell.

Join the conversation... welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.
Young womanâs dead body stolen from funeral home
On The Case | See all 2712 items Young woman’s dead body stolen from funeral home