Elisa Lam - What Happened?

Why did Elisa die?

  • Homicide/crime of opportunity - Murder due to chance encounter with someone on the day she died

    Votes: 162 47.4%
  • Homicide/preplanned - Elisa was lured to her death in a scheme planned before the day she died

    Votes: 46 13.5%
  • Accidental death - related to an altered mental state: drug induced, psychosis, sleep walking, etc.

    Votes: 86 25.1%
  • Suicide - Elisa intended to end her life due to mental issues/other

    Votes: 7 2.0%
  • Occult/supernatural/conspiracy - related to occult, supernatural phenomena or gov./other conspiracy

    Votes: 5 1.5%
  • Unsure/Do not know

    Votes: 36 10.5%

  • Total voters
    342
Status
Not open for further replies.

mangolassi

New Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
43
Reaction score
0
I am curious why people are finding it so hard to accept the findings of law enforcement and the medical examiner. From what is known, Elisa does not have a history of experimenting with drugs. Bath salts are pretty obscure and one would need to be on a quest or have existing connections in order to obtain them.

On the flipside, Elisa was diagnosed as being bipolar. Mental health professionals have described her actions in the video footage as being in line with that of manic episode AND it has been ruled that bipolar disorder was a contributing factor in her death.

Someone could have easily slipped her drugs without her knowledge. There are many different forms of these designer drugs with new variations coming out all the time - "bath salts" is just a catch-all term. They may be obscure to the general public, but not to all segments of the population. Downtown LA isn't Mayberry by a long shot.

Are we supposed to blindly accept the findings of law enforcement and the ME and never question them, as if they've never been wrong about anything before? Especially the LAPD... :facepalm: I can believe she was having a manic episode, sure. But I believe it was exacerbated by something else. :moo:
 

Newton

Active Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
128
Reaction score
184
Someone could have easily slipped her drugs without her knowledge. There are many different forms of these designer drugs with new variations coming out all the time - "bath salts" is just a catch-all term. They may be obscure to the general public, but not to all segments of the population. Downtown LA isn't Mayberry by a long shot.

Are we supposed to blindly accept the findings of law enforcement and the ME and never question them, as if they've never been wrong about anything before? Especially the LAPD... :facepalm: I can believe she was having a manic episode, sure. But I believe it was exacerbated by something else. :moo:

How is accepting verifiable information equivalent to a blind acceptance. Sorry but I get so tired of the tin foil hat society trying to invent things that are purely speculative and based on nothing related or tangible.

I have been to that area for art openings. I have walked by myself at night. Never have I, or anyone I know, been approached by someone offering or selling drugs. It is not Tompkins Square NYC circa the late 80s or early 90s.

I have read nothing about her family or friends refuting the cause of death determination. They are privy to all the information and seem to have accepted it. At this point, implying that she sought out, or was slipped drugs, seems not only implausible but disrespectful.

Having a default mindset that LAPD is always trying to cover something up is just plain idiotic. Have they historically screwed up on a fraction of their cases? Yes. Will they likely screw up again at some time in the future? Possibly. But to think ever case is a cover up or conspiracy is beyond realistic or fair. Get real.
 

Newton

Active Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
128
Reaction score
184
I think there is just a lot of ignorance about mental illness. A lot of people just don't understand much about the major forms, and how they manifest. I think a lot of it has to do with misinformation by the media.

It seems like too many people are complacent in their ignorance. There are loads of good websites with information regarding mental health issues. I bet a quick Google search would yield quite a few more reputable sources about bipolar than about bath salts, haunted hotels or invisible people. It may not have the sensationalism to satisfy a portion of our bizarre society though.
 

Rougelatete

Verified Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Joined
Nov 6, 2011
Messages
982
Reaction score
4
I stated early on in the case that I recognized EL's behavior as a tell-tale manifestation of a psychotic break during a manic episode. I received a lot of flack about my posts from people who were insistent that it was foul play, drug-induced, a game of cat and mouse with a perpetrator, etc. I even had people questioning my degree and licensure as a mental health counselor who works directly with people suffering psychotic episodes on a daily basis.

But, now it appears that the ME and LE agree this was an accidental death with bipolar disorder as a mitigating factor.

Why is it so hard to believe that mental illness alone is responsible for EL's death? This mental health disorder can cause the same disorientation, break from reality, disorganization, and incoherence that bath salts and other drugs can cause. That is why some people get institutionalized against their will -- because they become a danger to themselves or others simply as a direct result of their mental illness -- with no illicit drugs or conspiracies on top of that.

To insinuate that EL must have ingested drugs implies that she was somehow "responsible" for her death and also invalidates the importance of mental illness playing a role. Mental illness is a real phenomenon that can most certainly lead to death by misfortune. People in a psychotic state have wandered into the street and been hit by cars, invited beatings by strangers, walked off bridges, etc. I have had several clients die during psychotic episodes because they are so far detached from reality.

If the ME and LE had any questions left as to how EL died, they surely would have noted the COD as "undetermined." They had that option. They didn't take it. We should respect that.

We should also respect EL's memory. May she now rest in peace.
 

Conductor71

New Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2013
Messages
582
Reaction score
12
Just gained some insight into how the coroner may have decided on ruling EL's death an accident. Sharing it for those of us who question the 'accidental' route. Note that skepticism does not equate with the apocrypha, TB outbreaks, and crop circles.

Some of us here are questioning the ruling based on the two week time period in which it seemed LE did not really conduct a thorough investigation because they were still treating it as a missing person's case. This leaves a lot of time for any sort of evidence to dissipate if this were a homicide. It is not that I don't believe EL could have died due to her health condition, it is more that given the circumstances more evidence should be provided to substantiate the conclusion by both LE and the ME as they work together on this.

The Coroner has provided his opinion. An opinion with subjective measures set forth in the National Assn Medical Examiner's Guidelines to Classifying Manner of Death

Undetermined- reserved for when there is a 50-50% likelihood based on all gathered evidence

Reasonable probability- used when there is a 51% chance based on facts at hand - a "most likely" opinion.

On page 21, the authors imply that 'accidental' is the default ruling when mental health conditions are present, and there are no obvious signs of foul play. This makes it very easy to not bother investigating beyond the bare minimum and an easy way to close the case.

Giving EL's bipolar condition tips the scales as most plausible given what is known, but after 5 months they have presented nothing more to substantiate their ruling. Yes, drugs were ruled out, but we don't even know what was screened.

Obviously any sort of evidence of homicide would be seriously compromised if non-existent after 13 days. In lieu of this, the preoccupation with Dorner, and the rather lax investigation (they were on the roof never checking the tanks), I think it questionable to release no further details on the case. It is arrogant to think that people will not question it. A lot of Angelinos are saying the police bungled this. I am not convinced of the accidental ruling only because I question that the police did not fully rule out homicide.
 

findinganatta

New Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2013
Messages
200
Reaction score
10
It seems like too many people are complacent in their ignorance. There are loads of good websites with information regarding mental health issues. I bet a quick Google search would yield quite a few more reputable sources about bipolar than about bath salts, haunted hotels or invisible people. It may not have the sensationalism to satisfy a portion of our bizarre society though.
I absolutely agree with you that if people want to inform themselves about mental illness, the information is not hard to find :) But most people aren't particularly interested, and then simultaneously they have a lot of bad information fed to them by various pop media/entertainment sources. And those factors combined lead to ignorance.

And there is certainly nothing wrong with not being an armchair expert on mental illness. But if you are going to make assertions about something related to mental illness (like a case involving someone's death), it becomes pretty important that you do a minimum amount of research before forming an opinion.
 

findinganatta

New Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2013
Messages
200
Reaction score
10
Just gained some insight into how the coroner may have decided on ruling EL's death an accident. Sharing it for those of us who question the 'accidental' route. Note that skepticism does not equate with the apocrypha, TB outbreaks, and crop circles.

Some of us here are questioning the ruling based on the two week time period in which it seemed LE did not really conduct a thorough investigation because they were still treating it as a missing person's case. This leaves a lot of time for any sort of evidence to dissipate if this were a homicide. It is not that I don't believe EL could have died due to her health condition, it is more that given the circumstances more evidence should be provided to substantiate the conclusion by both LE and the ME as they work together on this.

The Coroner has provided his opinion. An opinion with subjective measures set forth in the National Assn Medical Examiner's Guidelines to Classifying Manner of Death

Undetermined- reserved for when there is a 50-50% likelihood based on all gathered evidence

Reasonable probability- used when there is a 51% chance based on facts at hand - a "most likely" opinion.

On page 21, the authors imply that 'accidental' is the default ruling when mental health conditions are present, and there are no obvious signs of foul play. This makes it very easy to not bother investigating beyond the bare minimum and an easy way to close the case.

Giving EL's bipolar condition tips the scales as most plausible given what is known, but after 5 months they have presented nothing more to substantiate their ruling. Yes, drugs were ruled out, but we don't even know what was screened.

Obviously any sort of evidence of homicide would be seriously compromised if non-existent after 13 days. In lieu of this, the preoccupation with Dorner, and the rather lax investigation (they were on the roof never checking the tanks), I think it questionable to release no further details on the case. It is arrogant to think that people will not question it. A lot of Angelinos are saying the police bungled this. I am not convinced of the accidental ruling only because I question that the police did not fully rule out homicide.
In theory I agree with pretty much everything you wrote, and I appreciate the really informative stuff you posted from the Nat'l Assoc of ME. Some people keep talking about 'proof of accidental death,' but as a general rule I don't think that really exists outside of what you suggested in your last sentence: proof that the LE did indeed rule out homicide to an acceptable degree. Because outside of disproving the alternatives, I don't see how you can prove that someone accidentally did something.

There is no doubt that they need to make available more info about how they investigated the possibility of foul play. Personally, I don't think a few weeks is enough time to assume a high likelihood that all evidence would be destroyed. It's certainly enough time to clean up any obvious evidence, but I think if a murder happened, there is still a whole lot of room for hard or circumstantial evidence to be present; certainly on or in the body, in EL's cell phone and/or laptop, witnesses, people who heard about it, suspect(s) talking about it, in the suspect(s) room(s), in EL's room, on video, etc. Lots of murder cases are solved well after the first few days because of some key evidence or testimony that is found.

Basically my point is that I find it unlikely, although possible, that someone would have committed this crime, yet left behind no physical evidence in any room or on EL's body, no damning witnesses, no suspicious behavior when interviewed (assuming they were a guest/resident at the time), no impression in EL's electronic or verbal communications to others, etc... all despite the fact that they were involved in her death and her body was found in such a precarious place.

Also, we still don't know exactly what they investigated in the first two weeks. My impression was that they did start their investigation as soon as she went missing, but didn't start an official potential-murder investigation until the body was found... which again seems pretty standard for a place like LA, where crime is rampant and people go to run away from their lives or start new ones. It was obvious that EL didn't really fit that profile to us, I think, but the overtaxed machinery of the LAPD probably doesn't really have the luxury of approaching each case that way (I'm guess I am willing to extend them some benefit of the doubt).

All I will say is that if murder was involved, it certainly doesn't seem like it was committed by a first-time murderer. The way she was found would not be the work of a panicked person, but a methodical and confident one. And on top of that, this person would have to have covered up any evidence, killed in a manner that leaves no obvious clues, kept the whole act quiet, and behaved normally. All of that is a tall order, even for the average psychopath.

Everything above is just my opinion, and as I've said many times before--and the recent news has not changed this--I am not 100% sold on accidental death.
 

LittleWing

New Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
146
Reaction score
1
All I will say is that if murder was involved, it certainly doesn't seem like it was committed by a first-time murderer. The way she was found would not be the work of a panicked person, but a methodical and confident one. And on top of that, this person would have to have covered up any evidence, killed in a manner that leaves no obvious clues, kept the whole act quiet, and behaved normally. All of that is a tall order, even for the average psychopath.

I agree.

I think that the simple fact that this happened in this particular hotel, housing criminals, some of which are probably repeat offenders, some of which are long term residents, is important to consider.

The person could have been living here for years. I imagine methodical criminals will scope things out and store them away for future reference. They know the layout, the secret places, the nooks and crannies. They know the routines. They bide their time until the perfect opportunity presents itself. Quite simply Elisa was a lamb in a lion's den. Or more like a lion's labyrinth. What more could a criminal want...a young vulnerable girl, completely alone.

It could have been as simple as a guy waiting in the wee hours of the night on the roof, who startled her while she was up there...maybe she was caught off guard. I don't think it'd be hard for him to order her into that tank.

The same things that could obliterate any evidence of her scent on the roof are the same things that could have obliterated his. The roof was probably littered with indecipherable fingerprints.

I dunno. Just speculating. :) I just don't see how they could prove without ANY doubt this wasn't homicide unless there were cameras on that roof.




Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
 

BlueShoe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2013
Messages
434
Reaction score
1,758
I think what makes it hard to accept this particular ruling for some of us is not a disinterest or lack of acceptance of mental illness as a mitigating factor, but simply the way this case was handled. I don't usually follow cases here, so I may be way off base, but somehow that elevator video haunted me. Even as a psychotic episode, it struck me as unusual. However, I do accept the more professional opinions on this particular aspect.

My problem was always the lack of information. The LE saying "no comment" and the silence was deafening. This after a strong initial interest in the case. It made me suspect that there was more to it. I don't think we will get any more information, and that does bother me. I would like to know if the cell phone was a factor, if the water tank lid was off when she was found, if she was clothed, if other items, such as a camera were on the roof. That is not just morbid curiosity, but would re-assure me that substantial efforts were made to investigate this case. Of course, it is possible that the death was truly accidental, but it is such a unique case that no one should be surprised that questions and doubts will linger. MOO
 

danzn16

For the missing
Joined
Jun 16, 2012
Messages
3,667
Reaction score
1,363
Just gained some insight into how the coroner may have decided on ruling EL's death an accident. Sharing it for those of us who question the 'accidental' route. Note that skepticism does not equate with the apocrypha, TB outbreaks, and crop circles.

Some of us here are questioning the ruling based on the two week time period in which it seemed LE did not really conduct a thorough investigation because they were still treating it as a missing person's case. This leaves a lot of time for any sort of evidence to dissipate if this were a homicide. It is not that I don't believe EL could have died due to her health condition, it is more that given the circumstances more evidence should be provided to substantiate the conclusion by both LE and the ME as they work together on this.

The Coroner has provided his opinion. An opinion with subjective measures set forth in the National Assn Medical Examiner's Guidelines to Classifying Manner of Death

Undetermined- reserved for when there is a 50-50% likelihood based on all gathered evidence

Reasonable probability- used when there is a 51% chance based on facts at hand - a "most likely" opinion.

On page 21, the authors imply that 'accidental' is the default ruling when mental health conditions are present, and there are no obvious signs of foul play. This makes it very easy to not bother investigating beyond the bare minimum and an easy way to close the case.

Giving EL's bipolar condition tips the scales as most plausible given what is known, but after 5 months they have presented nothing more to substantiate their ruling. Yes, drugs were ruled out, but we don't even know what was screened.

Obviously any sort of evidence of homicide would be seriously compromised if non-existent after 13 days. In lieu of this, the preoccupation with Dorner, and the rather lax investigation (they were on the roof never checking the tanks), I think it questionable to release no further details on the case. It is arrogant to think that people will not question it. A lot of Angelinos are saying the police bungled this. I am not convinced of the accidental ruling only because I question that the police did not fully rule out homicide.

I agree that may be possible with LE. However the coroner works separate from them and is not influenced by LE "preoccupation" in other cases. I think it's telling that there was no foul play ruled by the coroner.
 

Conductor71

New Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2013
Messages
582
Reaction score
12
I agree that may be possible with LE. However the coroner works separate from them and is not influenced by LE "preoccupation" in other cases. I think it's telling that there was no foul play ruled by the coroner.

I did not mean that they work as an integrated team together, but in the cases of equivocal deaths, the coroner must consider more circumstantial factors that turn up in at the investigation like any evidence LE might find and the decedent's medical history.

As an example, right now there is an unsolved murder with circumstances very similar to EL. A college student was found in her bathtub; there was no sign of trauma on the body, no drugs at all in her system. In this case, the girl lived in a dormitory style apt complex, but no one heard screams or signs of a struggle. The cause of death was drowning but manner deemed 'homicide'.

My point is in cases like this, the police investigation is significantly more important in determining manner of death, and I question given the extensive time between her death and autopsy whether the tests they ran lose validity or whether trace evidence was compromised. In essence then, in this particular case, the coroner may have been influenced by LE's 'preoccupation'.

From an article in Canadian media:

L.A. police spokesman Richard French said the force has accepted the findings and while he "can't speak for detectives," usually the coroner's results are fully accepted by police.

From what I have read LE and the Coroner's offices sometimes do work together in some capacity, it differs by state and jurisdiction. In a case like this the video and the police's efforts played far bigger a role than it normally would, to me at least. It really makes sense to me now why that particular bit of video was edited and shared with the public. I do not believe there is a cover up, but legally it helps build a case for an accidental death.
 

Conductor71

New Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2013
Messages
582
Reaction score
12
In theory I agree with pretty much everything you wrote, and I appreciate the really informative stuff you posted from the Nat'l Assoc of ME. Some people keep talking about 'proof of accidental death,' but as a general rule I don't think that really exists outside of what you suggested in your last sentence: proof that the LE did indeed rule out homicide to an acceptable degree. Because outside of disproving the alternatives, I don't see how you can prove that someone accidentally did something.

There is no doubt that they need to make available more info about how they investigated the possibility of foul play. Personally, I don't think a few weeks is enough time to assume a high likelihood that all evidence would be destroyed. It's certainly enough time to clean up any obvious evidence, but I think if a murder happened, there is still a whole lot of room for hard or circumstantial evidence to be present; certainly on or in the body, in EL's cell phone and/or laptop, witnesses, people who heard about it, suspect(s) talking about it, in the suspect(s) room(s), in EL's room, on video, etc. Lots of murder cases are solved well after the first few days because of some key evidence or testimony that is found.

Also, we still don't know exactly what they investigated in the first two weeks. My impression was that they did start their investigation as soon as she went missing, but didn't start an official potential-murder investigation until the body was found... which again seems pretty standard for a place like LA, where crime is rampant and people go to run away from their lives or start new ones. It was obvious that EL didn't really fit that profile to us, I think, but the overtaxed machinery of the LAPD probably doesn't really have the luxury of approaching each case that way (I'm guess I am willing to extend them some benefit of the doubt).

If this were handled better by the police (at least publicly), I doubt there would be so many people needing more explanation or criticizing LAPD. Even the media is placing 'accidental death' in quotes or using words like 'deemed' and 'according to', 'authorities say'- these are all qualifiers and value judgements, IMO. I have seen a few articles that more overtly challenge the ruling by including what seems to me now like blatant oversights in the investigation and readers' comments. People aren't buying it and are insulted they are not being given more information.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/4...lam-canadian-tourist-cecil-hotel-accident.htm

http://www.rafu.com/2013/06/authorities-say-tourists-death-was-accident/

They informed us that it was under the dept of homicide, but it certainly did not seem they ever treated the place as a crime scene. Criminy, they haven't even cleared up any confusion over the door to the roof; LAPD told the Vancouver Sun that the keys were crucial to the investigation. Like you said, what about the phone? They never bothered to search the tanks nor did they ever at least in those first two weeks thoroughly search rooms at the Cecil. I recall they said they would need more evidence. Not all crimes leave evidence, in fact many don't and I have read that some killers even plant fake evidence.

There is a similar case in my hometown now. A young college student was found dead in her bathtub with no drugs in her system and no visible signs of trauma; the cause of death was drowning. Despite her living in a dorm style setting, no one heard screams, a struggle, yet her death was ruled a homicide. This happened in December, and despite interviewing over 100 people they still have not one lead.

What is the difference? Both were alive when they went into the water. In my local case, the police said evidence at crime scene was key, but finding obvious evidence in an apt. bathroom after 4 days is more likely than 13 days later on a rooftop of a seedy hotel with no security. In other words, I am not surprised by the lack of evidence in LE's case.

This begs the question to what extent do police go to in seeking evidence for a potential homicide? IMO, if they really took this seriously they would have found her when they searched the roof in early February, but understandably their focus was elsewhere. Normally, I would give benefit of the doubt but in an odd case like this especially the way no information was shared, even knowing where her clothes were would be huge. In looking back it seems that they likely would not have gotten involved at all if it were not for her parents contacting the RCMP. After all, a tourist missing from a Skid Row hotel does make the case a top priority. This all to me looks like they may have put forth more effort in even looking into the case, but they didn't do much beyond that.

In retrospect the decision to release that particular video footage of EL seems calculated in that they most likely already knew of her bipolar condition. Not to mention the report from the Vancouver Sun on February 25th informing us that the LAPD had to deny they already ruled out foul play seems much more significant now. It looks more like there was a leak. It also explains the media blackout which also started around this time. Not saying there was/is a conspiracy, but it is telling that they still won't reveal an iota of info on the case. If this is true it looks like they may have pegged this as an accident early on. In that case, I am even less confident they adequately ruled out homicide.

Sadly, in the end it all comes down not to whether her family accepts this ruling but whether they can afford to challenge it. Manner of death aside, it is sad and at the very least it may start a dialog on how we need to understand just how serious mental illness can be. I doubt very much EL's parents would have paid for her trip (according to her Tumblr) if they had any inkling something like this could happen. So sad.
 
D

Deleted member 96356

Guest
Was it clarified if "no drugs found in her system" referred to all drugs, including medications? Or just recreational substances?
(sorry if this was clarified before and I've missed it)
 

findinganatta

New Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2013
Messages
200
Reaction score
10
Trimmed some of your quotes for space :)
If this were handled better by the police (at least publicly), I doubt there would be so many people needing more explanation or criticizing LAPD. Even the media is placing 'accidental death' in quotes or using words like 'deemed' and 'according to', 'authorities say'- these are all qualifiers and value judgements, IMO. I have seen a few articles that more overtly challenge the ruling by including what seems to me now like blatant oversights in the investigation and readers' comments. People aren't buying it and are insulted they are not being given more information.

I have definitely noticed the tone of some of the headlines and stories. And while I think to some degree the media like to present mysterious stories in that way in order to keep them interesting and keep readers coming back for more info, I also think that there is a legitimate reasoning to question some thins... primarily due to the LE's caginess. I was glad to see the media openly questioning why this investigation took so long. What bothers me is that they don't ask a lot of the same question that we, just amateur internet 'sleuths,' are asking.

They informed us that it was under the dept of homicide, but it certainly did not seem they ever treated the place as a crime scene. Criminy, they haven't even cleared up any confusion over the door to the roof; LAPD told the Vancouver Sun that the keys were crucial to the investigation. Like you said, what about the phone?
Those details about the the doors, the tank hatch, whether or not she was naked, etc REALLY annoy me. It's basic stuff that should be easily clarified. It makes me wonder if the LE don't want to admit that they really didn't know the true answers to some of the questions. However, since then my understanding is that it has been clarified that the door and hatch were not locked, despite the fact that some media outlets (including the LA Times) are still sometimes stating the old information as fact. I largely blame the media for a lot of the confusion, since their job in our society is to be watchdogs for things like this, not just to publish articles that attract readers.
In retrospect the decision to release that particular video footage of EL seems calculated in that they most likely already knew of her bipolar condition. Not to mention the report from the Vancouver Sun on February 25th informing us that the LAPD had to deny they already ruled out foul play seems much more significant now. It looks more like there was a leak. It also explains the media blackout which also started around this time. Not saying there was/is a conspiracy, but it is telling that they still won't reveal an iota of info on the case. If this is true it looks like they may have pegged this as an accident early on. In that case, I am even less confident they adequately ruled out homicide.
Your take on the LE's denial that they ruled out foul play is interesting. My memory, if it serves me, is that the LE had done a press conference in which they phrased something in a way that some misinterpreted, including some people here. Then they had to clarify what they meant after some media made the same misinterpretation. I specifically remember hearing the phrase and noticing how it was ambiguously phrased. However, that was just how I and others were putting it together at the time. It's quite possible that media's 'LE ruled out foul play' announcements actually had more to do with things that were told to them behind the scenes, and it did coincide with the media blackout.

Ultimately I still feel that given all of the information we've dug up and everything that has been reported, all of my intuition tells me it was a tragic accident. But all I care about is whether the truth is being discovered or not, no matter what it is. Everything else is just opinion. It's just damned frustrating that even now that we have the 'answer,' there still isn't much closure to the whole thing. My hope is that the specific details will become available in one form or another as time goes on, primarily for the sake of EL's loved ones. As for us, we've waited this long, so I can wait longer if necessary. Like you, I just hope her family has more closure than we do... and that they have better access to the details and straight facts than we do.
 

Newton

Active Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
128
Reaction score
184
And there is certainly nothing wrong with not being an armchair expert on mental illness. But if you are going to make assertions about something related to mental illness (like a case involving someone's death), it becomes pretty important that you do a minimum amount of research before forming an opinion.

I have never claimed to be an expert on mental health ("armchair" or otherwise). I minored in Psych at University. I've had friends that work in that field, as well as having known people diagnosed as bipolar. I know enough to know that I am not an expert but I also know that bath salts or obscure designer drugs are not necessary in order for a psychotic break to occur in individuals with her diagnosis. We don't know what all led them to conclude that bipolar disorder was a mitigating factor in her death. I do remember that the coroner saying the tox report would include what prescription meds she was taking and if they were at therapeutic levels.

Everyone may want more details but that is not our right to demand or expect it. LE & the ME disclosed what was necessary and are under no obligation to share more info. My hunch is that the family wants to keep this matter private and I think it is important that we honor this. What if she was your daughter, sister, friend? Would you want all of the details revealed, especially in a society where these medical conditions are stigmatized?
 

x_files

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2008
Messages
5,930
Reaction score
20,026
Actually, I have read that bath salts (which are actually one of several different compounds sold under various product names) are now traceable in drug tests. Obviously it would only be a matter of time... they just needed to design the tests and implement them, which took a little time.

http://www.kcbd.com/story/20221945/synthetic-drug-testing-compounds-in-bath-salts-now-traceable

And I think it's safe to assume that with all of the testing they did, they must have tested for bath salts. Especially since they have been the subject of our culture's latest drug scare propaganda, just like 'reefer,' LSD, crack, meth, ecstasy have all been through over the years (NOT that bath salts aren't terrible--they are! But there has been a lot of misinformation based on fear, such as the belief that the so-called 'Miami zombie' was on bath salts, which is a falsehood that still persists. The stuff is terrible, but misinformation is always bad, no matter what) :) :twocents:

We can't assume they tested for new designer drugs unless they state so. My guess is they went with a basic test and called it "accidental" to close it. With all the homicide and unsolved cases LA would be in a hurry to move along.
Unfortunately, I had a friend die "accidently" and the police did not run a tox report until we demanded even then they said GBH, X, meth would not be detected by their basic tox test.
It was not standard. I was shocked how sloppily and in a hurry to move along.
 

gitana1

Verified Attorney
Joined
May 31, 2005
Messages
28,443
Reaction score
216,289
Like I said, no evidence to prove it one way or another. There's no evidence of accidental death, just like there is no evidence of foul play. Simply because I state that accidental death is not proven, does not mean that I believe foul play is indeed the cause of death. I am simply stating that ruling the case as 'accidental death' is simply a way of closing the case, in the absence of any definitive answers. You can imagine that her death was accidental all you want, if it makes you feel better, but that does not necessarily make it so. To say that LE is right 100% of the time is incredibly naive.

Additionally, the fact that some believe she was acting out mental illness in the security tape, does not make it so. Many others believed that what they saw on camera was a girl hiding from someone. Many so-called professionals also said that she was on drugs like X. Tox results indicate that those professionals were simply wrong. So we're left with mental illness or foul play, with no definitive answer one way or another. The case is closed, but not definitively solved.

First, I'm not imagining. I'm an attorney. I know what constitutes evidence and I know that coroners do not base medical conclusions on imagination. I listed the evidence we know of above.

SEcond, it's not that "some" felt she was having a mental break in that tape, it's that every single mental health professional who posted on here stated she was acting just like their patients who experience mental breaks. I think I will go with mental health professionals over random Internet posters.

Finally, the case is closed and it is legally closed definitively.
 

gitana1

Verified Attorney
Joined
May 31, 2005
Messages
28,443
Reaction score
216,289
There are designer drugs that would not necessarily show up on the toxicology report. I could easily picture someone on bath salts climbing up to the roof and into a water tank.

http://laboratory-manager.advanceweb.com/Archives/Article-Archives/Detecting-Designer-Drugs.aspx

Why "bath salts"? How many people have you seen on them? Why not Pcp or LSD?

Someone could have easily slipped her drugs without her knowledge. There are many different forms of these designer drugs with new variations coming out all the time - "bath salts" is just a catch-all term. They may be obscure to the general public, but not to all segments of the population. Downtown LA isn't Mayberry by a long shot.

Are we supposed to blindly accept the findings of law enforcement and the ME and never question them, as if they've never been wrong about anything before? Especially the LAPD... :facepalm: I can believe she was having a manic episode, sure. But I believe it was exacerbated by something else. :moo:

In LA if someone is going to slip someone a drug it will be one that makes them pass out. The ones that make a person hallucinate are kept for themselves. They don't give those away.
 

Nickfalzone

New Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2013
Messages
114
Reaction score
3
First, I'm not imagining. I'm an attorney. I know what constitutes evidence and I know that coroners do not base medical conclusions on imagination. I listed the evidence we know of above.

SEcond, it's not that "some" felt she was having a mental break in that tape, it's that every single mental health professional who posted on here stated she was acting just like their patients who experience mental breaks. I think I will go with mental health professionals over random Internet posters.

Finally, the case is closed and it is legally closed definitively.

The case is closed, but still unsolved. Mental health professionals that posted here <modsnip> "guessed" that she was having mental issues during the video. This was guesswork and having some background in psychology I can tell you that people with bi-polar disorder do not normally walk to the roof of a building and accidently kill themselves in a water tank. This entire situation was strange, to say the least, and as I said, is still not definitively solved. Lack of evidence for foul play does not eliminate it as a possibility, unfortunately.
 

findinganatta

New Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2013
Messages
200
Reaction score
10
I have never claimed to be an expert on mental health ("armchair" or otherwise). I minored in Psych at University. I've had friends that work in that field, as well as having known people diagnosed as bipolar. I know enough to know that I am not an expert but I also know that bath salts or obscure designer drugs are not necessary in order for a psychotic break to occur in individuals with her diagnosis. We don't know what all led them to conclude that bipolar disorder was a mitigating factor in her death. I do remember that the coroner saying the tox report would include what prescription meds she was taking and if they were at therapeutic levels.
I think you misunderstood me. Nothing I wrote was aimed at you, at all. I agree with everything you just wrote and was just adding to it.

I wasn't using "armchair expert" negatively, nor was I referring to you--I was referring to myself and others. I was trying to be self-deprecating instead of trying to act like a legitimate 'expert' on the topic. It was just my (perhaps awkward) way of describing those of us on this site who know a lot about mental health, but are not psychologists or psychiatrists (I'm in social work, which deals a lot with mental health in my particular position, but isn't a psych-based field).
Everyone may want more details but that is not our right to demand or expect it. LE & the ME disclosed what was necessary and are under no obligation to share more info. My hunch is that the family wants to keep this matter private and I think it is important that we honor this. What if she was your daughter, sister, friend? Would you want all of the details revealed, especially in a society where these medical conditions are stigmatized?
Maybe you have me confused with someone else? : / I never demanded or expected any of that stuff. I think you may have misread the tone or intent of my post... Everything in it was directly related to what you wrote and was in total agreement, or so I thought. I was simply saying that people ought to educate themselves on mental health before espousing opinions about it with regard to this case, because the whole thing has the hallmarks of mental illness, in my opinion.

That's why I said "there is nothing wrong with NOT being an 'armchair expert' on mental health," (which was my confusing way of saying: I'm not suggesting that people need to devote a lot of time and energy the topic if they aren't particularly interested)... however, people really ought to at least do some basic research through Google before judging a case that involves mental health issues. I hope that clears up what I wrote. I know tone gets lost on the internet, and I probably didn't pick the best words.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top