EP 532: True Crime Documentary Filmmaker Joe Berlinger

True crime documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, Paradise Lost) discusses his new Netflix docu-series Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel that deconstructs the mythology and mystery surrounding infamous locations in contemporary crime. He explains the dark history of the Cecil Hotel and why the socio-economics of downtown Los Angeles have made it a haven for the downtrodden, desperate, and despicable, including Richard Ramirez aka the Nightstalker. We talk about the mysterious 2013 disappearance of Canadian college student Elisa Lam, whose body was later found in a tank on the roof that provided the hotel’s water supply, the bizarre elevator footage that fed media speculation around the case, and some of the even more bizarre conspiracy theories propagated by a community of online web sleuths.


Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel is now streaming only on Netflix. Follow Joe Berlinger on Twitter at @joeberlinger.

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