Elisa Lam: CCTV shows final movements before death in 2013
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The Netflix documentary focuses on the harrowing story of Elisa Lam who was found dead inside a water tank on top of the Cecil Hotel, in Los Angeles. The Canadian student’s body was discovered after residents complained about low water pressure and some alleged liquid came out discoloured. Medical experts concluded that Elisa died from accidental drowning but many have questioned their verdict because of her unusual behaviour in a final video clip before she died.
In the eight years that have followed Elisa’s death, many have poured over the last known footage of her taken from the hotel lift.
It has been analysed by a number of experts and amateur sleuths, all who hoped to find clues that could solve her case.
To this date, no one has been arrested in connection with Elisa’s death in 2013.
The footage showed the 21-year-old acting unusually due to hiding one moment and then exhibiting more expressive movements in the next.
Dr Jack Brown, a body language expert, who analyses the gestures and expressions of people to determine their emotional state, gave his take on the clip.
Four days after her body was discovered, in February 2013, he published his verdict after trawling through the hotel footage.
On his blog, Body Language Success, Dr Brown stated that Elisa was “not in fear” when she entered the lift.
He claimed to know that because when she walked her left arm had a “wide swing”, she appeared to be “relaxed” and had a “fluid gate”.
Dr Brown said those signs all indicated “she was relaxed and thus, not feeling urgency” as someone would if they were scared.
Soon after Elisa pushed multiple buttons in the lift twice, which some believed was due to her being fearful of something or someone.
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However, Dr Brown believed she was “relaxed” and her body language “did not indicate fear” because her arms were at her sides and “feet positions were neutral”.
Next, Elisa hid against the left-hand wall of the lift and “adopted the Fig Leaf configuration” – where both hands are held together in front of the body.
Dr Brown wrote: “This is consistent with anxiety, a lower confidence, beta emotional tone – this body language does not, by itself, indicate fear.”
Soon after, she jumped out of the lift in a “quick two-step manoeuvre”, which Dr Brown felt had “a playful quality to it” and indicated she might have been playing a game.
Once Elisa was outside of the lift she had a “wide stance”, which Dr Brown said showed “greater confidence” and was “not consistent with fear”.
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She then put her hands above her head and reached upwards in a movement that Dr Brown described as an “extended preen” and branded “very important”.
He wrote: “This display cluster context is a strong and highly reliable indicator of sexual interest.
“The person of her interest is either present outside the lift – or she is actively thinking about this person.”
When Elisa walked back into the lift, Dr Brown believed she might have been suffering from “lightheaded symptoms, vertigo or a relative emotional extreme”.
He then believed she tried to talk to someone who was “out of view”.
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While Dr Brown noted that she was acting strangely, her actions did “not have the nonverbal signature of fear”.
Towards the end of the footage, she continued to talk and showed “significant level of excitement and optimism” through her body language.
Elisa was last seen as she exited the lift and walked left, out of view of the camera.
Dr Brown concluded that Elisa was “playing a game of hide and seek or something similar” with another individual in the footage.
He reiterated that there was “no indication of fear” despite her showing “some anxiety” at times.
Dr Brown added: “There is definitely an element of play present here.”
One moment he highlighted as “of particular importance” was that Elisa was allegedly “putting herself on sexual display”.
Dr Brown admitted that “what is seen here may have no connection with her demise”.
However, he said that her body language “strongly suggests” that the person she was “attracted to” may have knowledge about the lead-up to her death.
Crime Scene: The Vanishing At The Cecil Hotel is available to stream on Netflix.
To read more from Dr Jack Brown visit: www.bodylanguagesuccess.com.
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