A recent Netflix documentary has reignited new interest among netizens as it traces Elisa Lam’s mysterious death case in 2013.
The documentary ‘Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel’ talks about the death of the 21-year-old Canadian college student in Los Angeles, who was staying alone in the infamous hotel.
As the mystery around Elisa’s “murder" deepened, self-proclaimed online sleuths grew quite unforgiving hatred towards Mexican gothic musician Morbid also known as Pablo Vergara. Morbid had become the target of internet detectives after it was discovered that he had stayed in the hotel and released a song around the same time of her disappearance and subsequent death. What also piqued their interest in Morbid was the kind of songs he used to write, even though being a death metal artist, it was nothing out of the ordinary.
Morbid often performed his music in character where he dressed in makeup and trench coats and sang about fictional violence in his music videos. However, for the sleuths, this was a clear indication that he had a direct connection to Elisa’s “murder". Around the same time as Elisa’s death, Morbid had also started a side project known as Slitwrist.
Internet detectives, who were quite convinced that Morbid was indeed the criminal, found his music video called “Died in Pain,” which was a song about a young girl running for her life until she is caught and murdered. The video was posted on YouTube a few days after Elisa’s death which fuelled their suspicion. Meanwhile, another Slitwrist song, “China” was about a victim’s remains being laid to rest in water, along with the line, “I’m thinking China.” Elisa Lam was of Chinese descent and her body was found in a water tank atop the Cecil Hotel.
Connecting all these dots, internet sleuths started levelling accusations of murder against Morbid. Speaking about his experience, Morbid told the Netflix documentary makers that he had started receiving hundreds of messages from people from all over the world after these accusations. He was also visited by Mexico’s PGR, which is a government investigative agency who asked him if he had made any blood sacrifices for the devil with animals. Even though there was no evidence that he played any role in the disappearance of Elisa, Morbid faced suspicion and unnecessary negative attention from netizens. The musician received death threats and he admitted in the Netflix docu-series that he had to give up on making music.
However, Morbid is back to recording again. In an interview with MetroUK, Netflix documentary’s director Joe Berlinger said: “He and I actually communicate from time to time since we finished filming," before adding, “He keeps me updated on his activities and I’m really happy to report that he’s recording again and he found the whole experience of participating, and kind of getting it out there, even though he’s nervous about the show coming out and what people will think and reliving the nightmare."
The Netflix documentary also features Tim Marcia, the retired Los Angeles Police Department homicide detective who was assigned to the Elisa Lam case. He said that Morbid was clearly not involved in the murder and the accusations levelled against him by web sleuths were “bizarre”. The documentary also presented proof of the musician’s whereabouts when he got sucked into the mysterious case.