What Do You Want to Know?: List Questions Here

Discussion in 'Elisa Lam' started by four_seasons, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. the_chosen_one

    the_chosen_one Member

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    Despite the many opinions on the matter, as far as I recall, the autopsy report mentioned, but did not attempt to attribute their findings to the elevator footage.

    The only people who would really have any idea as to what is going on in that video would be Elisa's closest friends, the ones who might have been around Elisa and have known what she was like when she was goofing around or when she was having an episode related to her mental health Dx.

    Some people claim that they can attribute the elevator behaviour to a psychiatric condition, and that may be consistent with others having some sort of episode. But that does not exclude other explanations for the behaviour.

    As findinganatta said, there are probably a number of pages of discussion elsewhere attempting to 'autopsy' the elevator footage. There are too many unknowns in my opinion to draw a definitive conclusion (eg was she playing or was she having an episode, was there someone outside the elevator, what other footage is there of her on the lifts we have not seen and how was she acting then, how many times did she catch the lift up to level 14 previously, how do those close to Elisa interpret the behaviour and is it consistent with an episode or with her being playful).

    There is evidence out there that could help to narrow it down and it doesn't have to remain a total unknown. But the majority of us dont have access to it and the people who do either have failed to collect it or have failed to integrate it into their explanation of the events.
     


  2. Montjoy

    Montjoy Inactive

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    I'm not a historian, but I have read about the ages when people were generally opposed to evidence-based decision making, when some muse or oracle in their hearts mattered more than anything that we'd now call evidence, expert or otherwise. Whenever I read something that starts with a statement opposed to all evidence and expertise, I remember those days, those old, awful days.

    Expert opinion has consistently stated that Elisa was experiencing an episode of acute primary psychosis while in the elevator. There have also been a number of people who have stated, out of their personal experience, that they were bipolar and that they have not acted that way. To me, those are two different sorts of evidence, and if we are going to respect that there can be any more value to one sort of evidence over the other, my opinion would be that expertise about mental illness should matter more than personal experience of mental illness, at least in forensic evaluations like this.

    Mods, please forgive me if this is an altogether inappropriate line of discussion, but I believe it is at the core of what is going on. I cannot guess what else the basis for dismissing all of the expert opinion on Elisa's behavior would be, and I have yet to see a plausible alternative.
     
  3. findinganatta

    findinganatta New Member

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    I completely agree. Bipolar psychosis is not the same thing as a bipolar episode, and not everyone who is bipolar experiences psychosis. Only a subset of bipolar people experience psychosis, and it can depend on the individual, their condition, their circumstances, medication issues, etc. So using anecdotal evidence to argue against bipolar disorder causing 'elevator video' behavior is sort of like saying, "I drive, and I've never been in a car accident. Therefore, I don't believe that so-and-so got into a car accident."

    From my perspective, the evidence we have establishes very, very clearly that it's both possible and likely that mental illness lead Elisa to cause her own death. Unfortunately, it is impossible to produce a piece of evidence that would absolutely rule out other possibilities, and some people see that as "proof" of something. But critical thinking and logic fly in the face of the idea that this is "proof." No, we will never know for sure what happened, but I can't imagine what good it does to invest one's belief in one conclusion when evidence and logic suggest that another conclusion is probably true. It's good to be open-minded, but to me critical thinking dictates that one should air on the side of the most evidence-supported theory until there is equal or better evidence for some other theory.
     
  4. Nickfalzone

    Nickfalzone New Member

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    I am with you that the conclusion reached by investigators is more likely than other possibilities. It, however, does not rule out other possibilities. For one thing, even a well-versed expert in psychiatry would never make a concrete diagnosis of someone's condition based upon that video. Secondly, we do not have any specific evidence that she was diagnosed as bi-polar, or what other, if any, mental illnesses she was diagnosed as suffering from. Additionally, we have her father who has gone on record saying that she was not bi-polar. Many of us are willing to accept what experts have concluded her behavior is indicative of, but unless they were actually there in that moment, and/or had spoken in depth with her therapist, they are essentially speculating as they do not have enough information to go on to make a psychologically sound diagnosis. With that in mind, there will always be a portion of us that see that video, see all the circumstances of her death, and say "maybe" things happened differently than investigators concluded. That is a right all of us share and I can respect all conclusions, both similar and different from my own.
     
  5. Montjoy

    Montjoy Inactive

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    I don't think that anyone is being censored for their opinions here. Thing is, there is plenty of evidence to support LE's explanation, while there has not been one shred of evidence to support any alternate explanation. I know it's been asked of posters here who dismiss LE's findings to explain what they think happened and use facts to support it, but there has never been any alternate explanation to pass scrutiny.
     
  6. findinganatta

    findinganatta New Member

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    I agree that there is a 'maybe' factor, definitely. All I'm getting at is that many people have taken the position that the doubt is more important than the likelihoods, and have put more importance on their own intuitive perception of whatever is happening in the video than they do in the various evidence that doesn't align with their perception. Which of course is always their right, and I myself will always leave a little doubt open. But then again, I will always leave a little doubt open that OJ was innocent or didn't act along, or that Casey Anthony didn't act alone, even though I strongly believe that the evidence in those cases says differently.

    As for her bipolar condition, my primary evidence is Elisa's own admissions about the disorder in her blog, the kinds of medications she was on, her descriptions of specific behaviors and emotions in her blog, a couple of witness descriptions of her unusual behavior in the days leading up to her death, and the fact that the police seemed to have gotten that information from somewhere credible enough to publicly announce it while this was still a foul play investigation (and I can't think of a reason to pull that diagnosis out of nowhere). I also take into account the nature of her trip in general and her own take on what she was doing, which is a very subjective judgement that I wouldn't put much weight on if it didn't git into a larger pattern.

    I'm not sure what to make of her dad's take on things. There are obviously plenty of factors, both conscious and subconscious, that could cause him to make that claim even if Elisa was mentally ill, especially if he perceived such information to be a threat to an investigation into foul play. Then there are also personal and cultural stigmas, and a general lack of understanding of mental illness among many people, even when it comes to their own kids. I take him at his word that he believes what he said, but I do see plenty of reason to doubt its actual validity in the face of other evidence. I've suffered with mental health and addiction issues in the past, and my own dad has always turned the other way and denied it because of the old school of thought he comes from--with a good dose of textbook parental denial thrown in, too. If I went missing, I suspect he would make every effort to mitigate reports of any of those issues if he was convinced the case was really about foul play; on top of that, he would probably believe what he was saying.

    The other issue is that mental health diagnosis are somewhat subjective, so even if she suffered with something other than "bipolar" I think the signs and symptoms of something similar were present, especially based on her blog entries and meds. She could have been suffering with some other permutation of mood disorder or even psychotic disorder. But the point I make is just that "bipolar" is just one possible psychiatric label to explain her apparent symptoms. It's just the most obvious and common one, and the one that she claimed to have been diagnosed with.

    I know his is a long response to your reply, but I'm just ended up spewing out a summation of some of my thoughts after months of putting the case in the back of my mind (after months of having it in the front of my mind last year). On a random side note, I meant "err" in my previous post, not "air" :)
     
  7. Nickfalzone

    Nickfalzone New Member

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    Just as a side note, I think it's worth mentioning that diagnosis of mental illness a.) is somewhat subjective, and b.) does not imply that those that are not diagnosed mentally ill are actually "normal". I believe that most folks in society are mentally ill to one degree or another, and simply a small percentage of people either seek or are forced to receive therapy. I guess what I'm saying is that, let's assume that there are millions of people that are actually bi-polar. The vast majority of them are likely to be functional and never experience a suicidal or hullucinatory episode. Yet many that are not diagnosed as bi-polar, act in suicidal or hallucinatory ways. What I'm saying is that a bi-polar diagnosis is very unlikely to result in the behavior that Elisa may or may not have been going through. So for LE to lay it at the feet of that particular d/x is fairly subjective imo, and is possibly related to her own blog admission of it. She may well have been suffering from other mental disorders. Many of these mental disorders people can function with on a regular basis without needing a therapist. With her, it may have been a combination of factors, agoraphobia (also mentioned in blogs), not taking meds, who knows. A conclusion that has some debatable evidence, vs other conclusions that have little to no evidence. But the simple answer that she had a meltdown due to being bi-polar does not hold a ton of weight imo. This is what one would call an educated guess. Let's speculate that she was not "actually" diagnosed as bi-polar. How would the case have been concluded? Probably "undetermined". I can state that I think she was actually talking to someone outside the elevator, and maybe that person was responsible for her death. This does have "some" evidence, which is that she did appear to be communicating outside the elevator. With another person or with herself? Many believe that latter, but it is an assumption rather than a proven point.
     
  8. Montjoy

    Montjoy Inactive

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    I agree, totally. But if you would submit that there are any standards at all for what is considered 'mentally ill', I believe that poor Elisa would fit your definition. The standard of 'mental illness' cannot be of the same order as that of, say, having a fever. Indeed, some of the earliest case studies in mental illness concerned cases in which people could manage their money, but had fantasy worlds that most would consider bizarre, immoral, or unhealthy. And so, it would seem that the question of when behavior is considered mentally ill is tied to when it is inconvenient.

    But none of this is really to the point, is it?

    This sub-forum is about someone who had a history of mental illness -- which we can assume at least meant some odd behavior -- acting in a way that most people found bizarre. There has never been a remotely plausible theory of how she ended up in the tank other than of her own accord. So why do some continue to dismiss all of the evidence to suggest that she died by her own means?
     
  9. Tap Dancer

    Tap Dancer New Member

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    Hi, everyone! I'm new to the community and fairly new to this case, which is very interesting to me. I would like opinions on a couple things I found while using a search engine. I just want to know what you all think. :)

    1. Help Find Elisa Lam's Killer
    This blog shows screen captures from the elevator video. They point out "another person's foot and hand" and "a weapon." However, my vision isn't the greatest even with my glasses on. The images are blurry and I can't really tell if there's another person there or not. What do you think of the pictures? Do you see what the blogger sees?

    2. Elisa Lam Time Stamp Conspiracy
    Again, the elevator video is rather blurry and the time stamp is impossible for me to see. But this person claims that 54 seconds is missing. I wonder if that's true. Have you heard anything about the video being edited in any way?
     
  10. Montjoy

    Montjoy Inactive

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    In my opinion, both of those websites are run by conspiracy theory nutjobs and should never be used as a basis for any conversation about this poor girl's death. They've both been discredited by the evidence in this case umpteen times.
     
  11. Tap Dancer

    Tap Dancer New Member

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    That's good to know. Since I didn't "see" what they claim to see, I wasn't taking them all that seriously. It's only been about a week since I heard about this case, and I have a lot more reading to do.
     
  12. the_chosen_one

    the_chosen_one Member

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    Hi Tap Dancer,

    Re #1... I had a quick skim through but didn't go back over the video footage again. The big issue for me with trying to pick out small details on the video is the video quality is not there. The post they made with the different foot directions, I recall seeing that elsewhere before. It looks strange in the still, but when I watched the video previously I recall it looked like Elisa's other foot, she has just oriented her feet at an unconventional angle...

    Re #2... again, haven't re-watched the video, but I did have a look when this was mentioned before. The counter does appear to stop ticking over for a bit (from memory it was like 1-2 seconds though?).
    I am not sure if the time stamp is blurred out or perhaps this is just really low res footage that was released. It would be interesting to hear the opinion of someone who has some expertise with surveillance footage to get their opinion re possible causes for this (eg is this a software glitch in whatever program is overlaying the time stamp where it lags?)

    As far as if time is missing as a result of someone removing a chunk of footage/editing the time stamp, the issue that comes to mind is they have done all of the hard part and then goofed up the easier part by having the timer stop...

    If a person wanted to edit the footage and didnt have copious amounts of time in the security room to do so it could explain a quick hack job - but to be honest, i'm guessing these systems are developed so that people cannot easily tamper with them and also guessing the run down crap hole that was the cecil would not have had equipment in there capable of doing so with any particular ease. So your average degenerate would not have had the skills or foresight to consider accessing the security room to edit the footage unnoticed (nor the skills to retrieve the footage nor equipment to edit and replace it) - and the people/organisations with the capabilities to modify the footage would have made sure they conducted all their dirty business off camera anyway.

    I don't think we have enough information to do anymore than put a question mark on the footage, and see if anyone with any expertise can give a rational explanation for something that is probably quite easily explained.

    To briefly entertain the suggestion that x number of seconds of footage was removed - if someone did remove footage/tamper with the timer, we would have no way of knowing how much was removed based purely on the low res video footage that has been released.

    Anyways, welcome to the forum, some people are pretty much set on this being case closed and aren't particularly fond of discussion that deviates from the LAPD explanation of what happened, and then the other end of the spectrum you have people saying there was a South Korean military contractor working on cloaking devices operating out of the same building, that EL was sacrificed as part of some blood ritual or that some government body was trying to poison the people.

    My personal opinion is that there is not enough information. I am not saying the LAPD finding is wrong, but with the information that is publically available, I think is inadequate to support the conclusion with certainty (but again, JMHO - some people think there is more than enough information to support the finding).

    I just hope that the LAPD did go over things such as her browser history (phone + computers), mobile calls/message history, surveillance footage from all cameras for the duration of EL's stay, interviews of neighbours etc during her stay, medical records that qualify how EL was going in juggling her mental health concerns.....
     
  13. red wolf

    red wolf New Member

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    Here's some of what I want to know as a longtime lurker.

    - We can find out how those cisterns work. I'd need to contact an engineer or otherwise someone who would know how to work with that system on top of the hotel. Whether or not it's important at this stage, the not knowing haunts me.

    - We can find out why the elevator possibly malfunctioned, again, not by contacting Cecil staff, but by contacting someone familiar with elevator repair. There are only so many reasons, and "ghosts" doesn't make the list.

    - We can find out why we didn't see footage of Elisa on the other floors. Maybe we can narrow it down to a decision made by the hotel, or a decision made by the police, or the fact that there isn't any tape from the other floors, or what have you. Right now there are too many "ifs" surrounding the footage.

    There are too many unknowns. Why not focus on the few known factors that we can actually learn about with a little investigative journalism?
     
  14. red wolf

    red wolf New Member

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    Has anyone tried to request a police report? I'm in Ontario. Our laws are different here. What rules would we have to abide by in order to obtain Elisa's police report by a formal request?

    If citizens aren't allowed to request the report, then could a media representative do it on our behalf? (Surely the family has access to the police report, but I'm not even considering stirring up painful memories by contacting them.)

    Edit: Has anyone used this link for a record request? http://www.lapdonline.org/i_want_to_know/content_basic_view/36329
     
  15. Userid

    Userid Well-Known Member

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    People were trying to get the police report, but they never did. Can't remember if they just stopped trying or if there was too much red tape to cut through.

    Others were successful in obtaining the autopsy report, which you can find (somewhere) in this forum.
     
  16. red wolf

    red wolf New Member

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    I tried the LAPD number today. "Are you the family? Any third party people need a subpoena or a court order."

    Well, that's that. One more closed avenue.

    I did read the autopsy report, all 37 pages of it.
     
  17. the_chosen_one

    the_chosen_one Member

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    I'd love to see footage of Elisa from the lobby/lift cams throughout her time at Cecil... just to see what her behaviour was like, if she had any guests come up to her room or if she went up to the top floor at any other stage during her stay there (and if she did - was she accompanied), did she visit any other floors etc?
     
  18. Cordelia0

    Cordelia0 New Member

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    That is correct! Bipolar psychosis is a terrible experience (can display itself in many forms) and can be triggered by anything. I can see the psychosis in the video. It even explains going into the tank of water, if we knew for sure she was having an episode that is. I used to hide under cars when I had an episode, the small space made me feel safe and cozy. She was alone in a big city, without interacting with many people. That can cause you to feel unstable after awhile. :(
     
  19. HauntsForHope

    HauntsForHope Southern Sleuther

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  20. HauntsForHope

    HauntsForHope Southern Sleuther

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