Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hotel Cecil's Dark Past


When I saw Esotouric offered a tour focused on crime and serial killers of Downtown Los Angeles featuring the street I live on and the Hotel Cecil (located directly next to my apartment) I had to know more.

The Hotel Cecil

The 1927 Hotel Cecil is a downtown landmark (and happens to be part of Pantless Alley).  Now it is branded as "The Premier Choice of Affordable Downtown Los Angeles Hotels." In addition to offering hotel rooms, it houses the modern Stay on Main hostel and roughly 300 low-income residential units. Now, it is full of convention attendees and tourists from all over the globe.  It has also been the site of quite a few commercials and movie filmings this year.  But, before the re-gentrification of Downtown Los Angeles, the Hotel Cecil held a dark part.
According to the Los Angeles Times, in 1962, a woman leaped to her death from the Hotel Cecil and in doing she also killed a pedestrian on which she landed.  Two years later, the Pershing Square "pigeon lady" Goldie Osgood was raped and killed in her room at the Hotel Cecil.  Her case remains unsolved.

According to LA Observed, the Black Dahlia, Elizabeth Short, is alleged in at least one book to have hung out at the Hotel Cecil and drank at the bar next door before she disappeared in 1947.  But this "fact" is disputed by cultural historians Kim Cooper and Richard Schave of Esotouric.

In 1985, when rates were as low as $14 a night, Richard Ramirez, the "Night Stalker" lived for several months in a 14th floor room of the Hotel Cecil.  After being caught and arrested, he was convicted of killing 14 people throughout Los Angeles.  He is currently on death row in San Quentin State prison.

Austrian Serial Killer Jack Unterweger stayed at the Cecil Hotel for five weeks in 1991 while murdering prositutes. At night, Unterweger welcomed the hookers who climbed up the Cecil Hotel's fire escape to his room to earn $30.  He also picked up streetwalkers on 7th Street, strangled them with their own bra-straps, then dumped their bodies nearby, naked and posed obscenely. Police suspect Unterweger scoped out the sites ahead of time.  He committed suicide after being convicted for several murders.

The Hotel Cecil and Downtown's Historic Core have an equally dark and seedy past stemming from the early 1900s when the area was a mix of those down on their luck hoping to strike it rich in Los Angeles and wealthy businessmen.  Downtown's storied past adds to its character, mystic and romance.

41 comments:

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  2. I came across your blog, after I saw the news about Elisa Lam killed in Cecil Hotel, her body was found in the water tank on the hotel roof, now I know why...

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  3. OMG ... thanks for the info ... this makes the Elisa Lam case even more haunting ...

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    Replies
    1. I cant wait to book a room for Halloween its gonna b a great haunting experience better than a wack ads visit to knotts not scurry farm haha go Cecil I'm there

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  4. I stayed there in June and August last year. I found it to be economical and convenient to the sights of LA. Also handy to local bus to Union Station and Santa Monica pier. It was great but I didn't end up in the water tank...

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    1. if anything ill bring my own water I don't think they could ever get that girls body taste out of the tank I bet the soup was extra salty emmm yummy

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    2. Making fun of a dead person. No respect for the dead huh?

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    3. wow john, you are so cool and edgy. wooooowwww....

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  5. back when I was 18 i would hop a train down from san diego and stay at the cecil, I remeber staying on the 12th floor, the only people up there was myself and my boyfreind, something didnt feel right, it was creepy, but we were also out of our minds on drugs. Now 4 yrs sober i think back and now hearing the elisa lam story and i get the chills.

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  6. Gracias por la información, sí que hace este caso más "interesante".

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  9. I have been looking for Ottawa hotels downtown for forever and this helped me out a bunch. Thanks so much. You are the best, thanks again for posting this.

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  10. Interesting list of cheap hotels. My mission is to be able find the best and trusted offers in case I and my family travels local or abroad. :’) Especially that the holiday season is fast approaching! How I wish everything works well with our schedule and especially budget! Hehehe. I’m glad to have found your site. Keep sharing informative posts.

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  11. Hi, I was wondering at all if anybody has any information on the very first owners of the Cecil Hotel? I can't find anything about them anywhere! Not even a name! Thank you in advance to anybody who can help me!

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