The History and Mystique of the Cecil Hotel

Discussion in 'Elisa Lam' started by bessie, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. bessie

    bessie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Use this thread to list facts about the Cecil Hotel. Don't forget to include your links.

    Los Angeles (CNN) -- The Cecil Hotel's dark past earned it a spot on Los Angeles tours long before a woman's body was found inside its rooftop water tank.

    "It's the place where serial killers stay," said tour guide Richard Schave.

    Schave and his wife, Kim Cooper, conduct a "true crime and oddities" tour they call "Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice."

    Cooper and Schave have made it their job to compile details on those who have killed or been killed while staying at the Cecil.


    http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/21/us/california-horror-hotel
     
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  3. Conductor71

    Conductor71 New Member

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  4. Perplexed 123

    Perplexed 123 New Member

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    According to this Report it had 39 inhabitants (long term)

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 6:00


    Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Housing Department placed the property in the city’s Rent Escrow Account Program, or REAP, for an array of alleged building code violations. Hotel officials recently appealed the move, which allows tenants to pay discounted rents, with the money placed in an escrow account until the violations are fixed...................

    At a Housing Department meeting on March 27, a handful of the 39 inhabitants of the 600-room hotel complained that for years they’ve had no central heat, and instead have been given wall-mounted heaters that rarely work.
     
  5. Conductor71

    Conductor71 New Member

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    I have spent some time researching the city archives and recent history of the hotel. As is turns out, investors bought the Cecil just over a decade ago to be a player in the downtown revitalization plan only to be stonewalled by a local government ordinance that basically would not let people lose their low income housing. In theory, that is commendable but does not translate when you are trying to shake off the bad vibes of housing two serial killers. The owners had grand plans to renovate, but was shut down by city council because they were suing the city of LA over this law. The city retaliated by refusing to grant permits for what they intended to upgrade. For example, the residents complain of no central air and insufficient, but the city won't grant necessary permits.

    I think the owners gave up on it and it may be in some sort of foreclosure? It sounds like there really no one vested in the care of that place, so I think this played a big part in how the perp likely just walked upstairs through an unlocked door used as a fire egress.

    Here is a link to a harsh review and a really informative response by the property managers. Scroll nearly to bottom of the page.

    A Dump with a Future

    Also. as of 2010, the hotel was in foreclosure.

    Cecil Hotel to Stay Residential Under Terms of Settlement to Long-Running Lawsuits.
     
  6. hello people

    hello people New Member

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    I heard a woman jumped off the building to kill herself

    I heard than another serial killer called the Cecil home too
     
  7. x_files

    x_files Well-Known Member

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    yes, it's true. Let me find you links. Two serial killers and two jumpers. Several unsolved murders over the decades.
     
  8. x_files

    x_files Well-Known Member

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    Several documentaries and ghost hunter/paranormal shows have been filmed here:
    Haunted Encounters: Face to Face: Season 1, Episode 4
    The Hotel Cecil/Kriescher Mansion (21 Dec. 2012)
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2576230/

    http://guardianlv.com/2013/02/elisa-lam-morbid-history-of-two-serial-killers-unfolds-at-cecil-hotel/

    Jack Unterweger and Richard Ramirez serial killers were residents.

    Ghost of Cecil Hotel
    http://insroland.org/ghostsofthececil

    Helen Gurnee,1954 jumped to her death/suicide
    Pauline Otton, October 12, 1962 jumped to her death/suicide hit pedestrian George Gianinni
    Julia Moore February 11, 1962 jumped to her death/suicide
    Pigeon Goldie June 4, 1964 murdered
     
  9. Perplexed 123

    Perplexed 123 New Member

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    There is an agency called the 'Invisible Light Agency' which also seems to be based in the Hotel
    https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&safe=off&ie=UTF-8&q=cecil%20hotel%20los%20angeles&fb=1&gl=us&hq=cecil%20hotel&hnear=0x80c2c75ddc27da13:0xe22fdf6f254608f4,Los%20Angeles,%20CA&cid=0,0,9189739507535531830&ei=xwQrUYzqM-610AGRqoHABQ&ved=0CMoBEPwSMAM


    I am looking for more information on this, but it may be an explanation to some of the 'ghostly' sightings


    From this article (2011) it explains some of what they do

    According to Zeller: “I personally handled all 3D duties and was joined on compositing by on-set VFX supervisor Quan Tran, and Miguel Bautista and Anthony Vu: partners of the Invisible Light Agency.Modeling took place in modo, animation and rendering in 3ds Max with V-Ray 1.5, and compositing in Nuke and After Effects. Supplemental tools included Maya and Mudbox.”
     
  10. i.b.nora

    i.b.nora I am polka dot

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    Invisible Light is located at 620 S. Main, The Cecil Hotel is at 640.
     
  11. Perplexed 123

    Perplexed 123 New Member

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    Stay on Main street is at 636 S. Main, cecil is at 620 S.. I'm wondering how many numbers does the front of the building cover, If 636 and 620 are where the entrance doors are located - both hotels extend out beyond each side of the entrance doors. Across the road is only a car park, unless a building has be knocked down out of there recently and this is were it was previously located?


    http://goo.gl/maps/PijRx


    ^^^Never mind :)

    Actually I've found Building 620, seems to be separate from the hotel
     
  12. MissedItByThatMuch

    MissedItByThatMuch Former Member

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    This is very revealing. I can understand a city trying to protect the homes of people closer to the bottom rungs of life, but in this case, it's a hotel, not an apartment building. At one time, there must have been a financial need for the hotel to rent to tenants, but at any point the hotel should have the free choice, without government oposition, to shed the apartments humanely for the sake of making a business go. The business has the first priority, not the tenants.

    It smells. It can be as ridiculous as someone in city counsel having a close relative in the hotel's "apartments."
     
  13. dpchemd2

    dpchemd2 New Member

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    I went into the Cecil hotel on St Patricks day. There were 6 of us. We loitered in the lobby for a few, then walked right into the elevator and took it up to the 15th floor. The front desk personnel said nothing to us.
    Some pics:

    Outside
    [​IMG]
    The entrance
    [​IMG]
    View from the 15th floor window
    [​IMG]
    This is on the floor right outside the hotel, I found it ironic
    [​IMG]
     
  14. findinganatta

    findinganatta New Member

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    I'm just guessing based on similar political nonsense in other places, but I suspect it's just your typical combination of political posturing, probably some greased palms (a lobby group or something), and maybe the possibility of bad publicity if they kicked out a bunch of people. But primarily, I bet it involves political influence of, like I said, maybe a lobby group or something similar. Or it might be tied into old LA laws, kind of like some places have had rent control.

    There are many logical political explanations (at least logical in the context of politics, which isn't logic). Because of this, I strongly doubt any of the more nefarious speculation about why these people are still in the Cecil and potential political connections to individuals or specific situations at the Cecil, at least not unless there is some specific, legitimate evidence to the contrary... you never know with politicians! But my point is just that the Cecil being forced to keep the people living there does not seem particularly strange given other laws in LA, NYC, and other cities.
     
  15. nerdy

    nerdy Registered User

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    These ARE people on the "bottom rungs of life" - if evicted from the Cecil, these people will land on Skid Row. The Cecil has been a Single Room Occupancy hotel (SRO) for years, and it's the conversion from that which is the problem. They can't kick people out on the street to draw in hipster money.

    In California, the tenants have the first priority, at least in this specific scenario.

    Here's an op/ed from the LA Times on the complex interplay of the downtown housing issues: http://articles.latimes.com/2006/jul/30/opinion/op-mailander30

    (And please note that the article mentions the Cecil was exempt, but it predates the lawsuit where the conversion was denied.)
     
  16. findinganatta

    findinganatta New Member

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    Just to clarify, this particular picture is of the roof of the building next to the Cecil (based on Google maps)

    Did you find or see anything interesting or new relevant to the case? Is that window view above the place where someone would access the fire escape? Did you all consider going on the roof? :)
     
  17. dpchemd2

    dpchemd2 New Member

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    Yes that is the view looking out the 15th floor of the Cecil. We were too afraid to try to get up to the roof so we didn't try. Relevance to the case - they supposedly don't let unregistered guests upstairs and we had no problem getting upstairs. We saw nobody in the halls or anything.

    The place wasn't as scary in real life (during the day), it was old and poorly maintained upstairs but it didn't appear as dirty as I thought it would be.
     
  18. findinganatta

    findinganatta New Member

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    Snipped

    Thanks, that's an interesting response from the management person. They really went into some detail and disclosure that seems slightly unprofessional to me, but the Cecil and its people obviously aren't known for immaculate professionalism.
    Interesting... I wondered about how strict they were about the no-non-guests-upstairs policy. I wouldn't be surprised if they selectively enforce it based factors like past experience with certain people, appearance, behavior, etc.
     
  19. MissedItByThatMuch

    MissedItByThatMuch Former Member

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    Nerdy definitely seems to have the best handle on the spirit of LA, but you last point, findinganatta, is well taken. If these tenants are the type that have no place to go but back to the streets, then certainly LA wouldn't want that, not necessarily because they care about the condition of their lives, but because it detracts from their city. It is "their" city, after all, or so they think.

    So what happens if the hotel goes belly up because the city doesn't support the new owners? Do the people get to stay? On who's dollar?

    Does anyone know the names or the owner(s)? I can't find the answer online.
     
  20. findinganatta

    findinganatta New Member

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    I have plenty of compassion for very low-income people (I've been one, practically). However, The Cecil is a business, and they want to convert most of the building into a Best Western according to that management person in the link posted above. So it's not like they're trying to just kick people out to appeal to hipsters. To me it's more like they're trying to do some basic things to match the growth of the surrounding area. Personally, I'm not a big fan of gentrification in most cases, but it's happening and two floors of people can literally prevent a whole hotel (which could employ and pay a lot of people) from advancing from low-quality to pretty good-quality.

    If no ordinances are changed, the low-income tenants could be there forever. And it's apparently only about 60-70 people. It seems like there would be alternative low-income housing options in LA that wouldn't involve negatively affecting an entire hotel's worth of business. I know that sounds callous, but it seems logical enough to me, especially when you consider the tax money and staff salaries that would be generated by a more functional Cecil.
    Actually, your comment about it going "belly up" ties right into what I'm saying in the other part of my reply, above your quote. It seems more logical to me for overall well-being if the city just recognizes that this place is ready to be a normal hotel, and low-income housing within that building has sort of outgrown its logic. However, if it would literally result in most of those people being homeless on the streets, I might have a different perspective--although the whole situation would still seem ridiculous. My guess is that there are other housing options in a city the size of LA, and I'm basing that on my own work in low-income housing in a city with a large demand for it. There are almost always other options, but it would take someone figuring them out, and that's not going to be the Cecil, the politicians, or the residents. It would have to be an agency or individual social workers, or whatever, and it would only happen if they were given a time frame to move out. Regardless, some of them would end up on the streets, undoubtedly.
     
  21. nerdy

    nerdy Registered User

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    The City of LA isn't necessarily being wise or effective with this solution, but it is the law as it stands. The entire situation is more or less a nightmare, as I "understand" it.

    I'm more or less a hipster myself, and I live in said gentrified downtown. I'm not passing judgement. But there truly are very few housing options here. I was just rent-gouged out of an apartment myself so it could be offered to higher-income clientele, with a 50% rent increase in 3 months' time, with threats it would continue. It was incredibly difficult to find something else I could afford in a neighborhood that was close enough to work. Some protection for tenants is needed because affordable housing for the even middle class in LA is almost non-existent.

    There are a lot of businessowners here downtown that want to push the homeless out to Riverside or somewhere else they won't see them and while there's an argument for rehabilitating downtown, skid row and SROs are how LA dealt with the homeless, and they're failing to come up with a new plan other than moratoriums.

    It is extremely unfair to the new owners of the Cecil that they were not allowed to renovate the hotel.
     

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