A young woman's tragic journey of self-discovery, downward spiral, and horrifying death in L.A.'s infamous Cecil Hotel sparks the birth of an internet urban legend--and for one determined journalist, a life-changing quest toward uncomfortable truths. Now in paperback, the critically acclaimed, definitive investigation into the mysterious death of Elisa Lam!
• The New York Times Summer Reading selection
• A Fortune Magazine "Most Anticipated Books of the Year" Selection
• An Oxygen "Best True Crime Books of the Year"
• A Goodreads Featured Release of the Month
• Featured in Publishers Marketplace's Buzz Books
Twenty-one-year-old Vancouver student Elisa Lam was last heard from on January 31, 2013, after she checked into downtown L.A.'s Cecil Hotel--a 600-room building with a nine-decade history of scandal and tragedy. The next day, Elisa vanished. A search of the hotel yielded nothing. More than a week later, complaints by guests of foul-smelling tap water led to a grim discovery: Elisa's nude body floating in a rooftop water tank, in an area extremely difficult to access without setting off alarms. The only apparent clue was a disturbing surveillance video of Elisa, uploaded to YouTube in hopes of public assistance.
As the eerie elevator video went viral, so did the questions of its tens of millions of viewers. Was Elisa's death caused by murder, suicide, or paranormal activity? Was it connected to the Cecil's sinister reputation? And in that video, what accounted for Elisa's strange behavior? With the help of Web sleuths and investigators from around the world, journalist Jake Anderson set out to uncover the facts behind a death that had become a macabre internet meme, as well as a magnet for conspiracy theorists.
In poring through Elisa's revealing online journals and social-media posts, Anderson realized he shared more in common with the young woman than he imagined. His search for justice and truth became a personal journey, a dangerous descent into one of America's quiet epidemics. Along the way, he exposed a botched investigation and previously unreported disclosures from inside sources who suggest there may have been a corporate conspiracy and a police cover-up.
In Gone at Midnight, Anderson chronicles eye-opening discoveries about who Elisa Lam really was and what--or whom--she was running from, and presents shocking new evidence that may reopen one of the most chilling and obsessively followed true crime cases of the century.
About the Author
Jake Anderson is a writer, filmmaker, investigative journalist, activist, and digital publisher. He runs the popular Website The Ghost Diaries and is a contributing journalist for The Anti Media and multiple alternative media outlets. He has been a featured guest on Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis, Spaced Out, Nocturnal Frequency, West of the Rockies, and Common Ground. Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, he's a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz and currently lives near Albuquerque, New Mexico. Visit Jake Anderson online at TheGhostDiaries.com.