A Los Angeles hotel with a haunting history. A missing young woman. A disturbingvideo followed by a shocking discovery. A cold-case mystery that has become an internet phenomenon—and for one determined journalist, a life-changing quest toward uncomfortable truths. 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 journalsand social-media posts, Anderson realized he shared more in common with the young woman than he imagined. His search for justice and truthbecame a personal journey, a dangerous descent into one of America's quiet epidemics. Along the way, he exposed abotched investigation and previously unreported disclosures from inside sources who suggest there may have been a corporate conspiracy and a police cover-up. InGone at Midnight, Andersonchronicles eye-opening discoveries about who Elisa Lam really was and what—or whom—she was running from, and presents shocking new evidence that may re-openone of the most chilling and obsessively followed true crimecases ofthe century.
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