Discover the chilling stories of notorious serial killers who have stayed at the infamous Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles.
If you’re curious about the dark past of this hotel, then you’re in for a spine-tingling ride.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most notorious serial killers who have stayed at Cecil Hotel and the gruesome crimes they committed.
The Haunting History of Cecil Hotel
The Cecil Hotel, located in Downtown Los Angeles, has a haunting history that has fascinated people for decades. It was built in 1924 and was initially designed as a luxurious hotel for business travelers and tourists. However, over the years, it gained a reputation for violence and crime.
It is worth mentioning that the hotel’s location in a high-crime area contributed to its negative reputation. The neighborhood surrounding the Cecil Hotel was known for its poverty, crime, and drug use. Unfortunately, the hotel became a hotspot for illegal activity.
One of the most disturbing aspects of the hotel’s history is the mysterious deaths and murders that occurred within its walls. The Cecil Hotel was the site of numerous suicides, including that of a 65-year-old woman who jumped from her room window in 1962. The most famous case, however, is that of Elisa Lam, a Canadian student who was found dead in a water tank on the hotel’s roof in 2013.
It is worth noting that some notorious serial killers have also stayed at the Cecil Hotel. For instance, Richard Ramirez, also known as the Night Stalker, stayed at the hotel during his killing spree in the mid-1980s. Another serial killer, Jack Unterweger, a journalist who killed prostitutes in Austria and the United States, also stayed at the hotel in 1991.
Keep in mind that despite its dark reputation, the hotel has also been a popular location for filmmakers and TV producers. It has been featured in several movies, including “American Horror Story” and “Se7en.” On the other hand, the hotel’s sordid past has also made it a popular destination for true crime enthusiasts and ghost hunters.
Despite its checkered past, the hotel remains open to guests today, now rebranded as Stay on Main. However, visitors should be aware of the hotel’s history and the potential for paranormal activity that some believe still lingers within its walls.
Richard Ramirez – The Night Stalker
Richard Ramirez, also known as “The Night Stalker,” was a notorious serial killer who terrorized Los Angeles during the mid-1980s. Ramirez stayed at the Cecil Hotel in 1985, during the height of his killing spree.
The stay at the Cecil Hotel was only one of many stops on Ramirez’s violent rampage. He was known for breaking into homes and attacking his victims in their sleep, often using a variety of weapons including guns, knives, and hammers.
It is worth mentioning that Ramirez’s stay at the Cecil Hotel coincided with several brutal murders in the Los Angeles area. Unfortunately, the hotel’s reputation for attracting transient individuals and those with criminal backgrounds made it an easy target for someone like Ramirez.
During his time at the Cecil Hotel, Ramirez was reportedly staying on the 14th floor. It was from this room that he would go on to commit some of his most heinous crimes, leaving a trail of death and destruction in his wake.
Despite the hotel’s association with Ramirez, it is important to note that the Cecil Hotel management was not aware of his crimes at the time of his stay. It was only after he was caught and convicted that the connection was made.
Jack Unterweger – The Writer Turned Killer
One of the most infamous serial killers who stayed at Cecil Hotel was Jack Unterweger. Unterweger was an Austrian journalist, author, and playwright who was convicted of murdering eleven prostitutes and other women during the 1990s.
Unterweger stayed at Cecil Hotel in 1991, where he is believed to have continued his twisted killing spree. His stay at the hotel was brief, but it was during this time that he committed one of his most heinous crimes.
Unterweger’s mind was twisted, and he had a deep hatred for women. He was known to strangle his victims with their own bras, and it is believed that he chose prostitutes as his victims because he saw them as easy targets.
Unterweger’s killing spree was not limited to Austria. He traveled extensively, and it is believed that he murdered women in several countries, including the United States. He was eventually caught in Miami, Florida, and extradited to Austria, where he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
It is worth mentioning that Unterweger’s story has been the subject of several books, documentaries, and even an opera. He has been the subject of intense media coverage, and his story continues to fascinate people around the world.
The Elisa Lam Mystery
One of the most infamous stories associated with the Cecil Hotel is the mysterious disappearance of Elisa Lam. In February 2013, Lam, a 21-year-old Canadian student, checked into the hotel. However, she never checked out.
A few weeks after her disappearance, a video surfaced showing Lam behaving erratically in one of the hotel’s elevators. The footage quickly went viral, and many people were disturbed by her strange behavior. Lam can be seen pressing multiple buttons, peeking out of the elevator, and making frantic hand gestures.
Unfortunately, Lam’s body was discovered weeks later in one of the hotel’s water tanks on the roof. The discovery of her body only added to the mystery surrounding her disappearance. How did she get into the water tank? Was she murdered or did she accidentally fall in?
Other Notable Guests
Aside from the infamous Richard Ramirez, who stayed at the Cecil Hotel during his killing spree, there were other notable guests with dark backgrounds.
- The Hillside Stranglers, a serial killer duo consisting of cousins Angelo Buono and Kenneth Bianchi, stayed at the hotel in the 1980s. They were responsible for the murders of at least ten young women in the Los Angeles area.
- Another notorious guest was Josef Fritzl, an Austrian serial killer who imprisoned and raped his daughter for 24 years. He stayed at the Cecil Hotel in the mid-1980s.
- The Skid Row Slasher, an unidentified serial killer who was active in the 1990s, also stayed at the hotel. He was responsible for the deaths of several homeless men in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles.
It is worth mentioning that the Cecil Hotel has a long history of attracting guests with criminal backgrounds. Unfortunately, this has contributed to the hotel’s dark reputation and association with serial killers.
Cecil Hotel has earned a reputation as one of the most haunted and ominous buildings in Los Angeles.
The hotel’s dark history and association with notorious serial killers have made it a popular destination for those who are fascinated by true crime.
While the hotel has gone through several changes in ownership and undergone renovations, its ominous past continues to fascinate and terrify us to this day.
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Not one, but two, serial killers stayed at the Cecil. Richard Ramirez, the infamous 'Night Stalker', is believed to have spent several weeks there while conducting his home invasion crime spree between 1984 and 1985.
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“Usually, the higher floors of the Cecil, people used to get killed up in there. Once they got a guy in the room, they would rob him, beat him up, and throw him out the window. So if you didn't watch yourself, you might come flying out of there with no wings.” Ramirez's room was on the 14th floor.Who was the German serial killer at Cecil? ›
|Span of crimes||1974; 1990 – 1992|
|Country||Austria, West Germany, Czechoslovakia, United States|
|Date apprehended||27 February 1992|
Wuornos claimed that her clients had either raped or attempted to rape her, and that the homicides of the men were committed in self-defense. Wuornos was sentenced to death for six of the murders. She was executed on October 9, 2002 by lethal injection after spending more than 10 years on Florida's death row.Who was the scariest female serial killer? ›
- Aileen Wuornos (aka "That chick from Monster), 1956-2002. Crime: Found guilty of killing six men between the years of 1989-1990. ...
- Genene Jones, 1950-Present. ...
- Griselda Blanco, 1943-2012. ...
- Delphine LaLaurie, 1775-1842. ...
- Nannie Doss, 1905-1965. ...
- Andrea Yates, 1964-Present.
The most prolific female serial killer is Aileen Wuornos. Having killed a total of seven men during her spree, her life and crimes are the most culturally significant one of all famous female serial killers.Who was the scariest serial killer? ›
- Ted Bundy. Ted Bundy was an American serial killer and rapist who was active in the 1970s. ...
- Jeffery Dahmer. ...
- John Wayne Gacy. ...
- Ed Gein. ...
- Andrei Chikatilo.
|Nannie Doss (Nancy Hazel)|
|Died||June 2, 1965 (aged 59) Oklahoma State Penitentiary, McAlester, Oklahoma, United States|
|Resting place||Oak Hill Memorial Park|
|Other names||The Giggling Nanny The Giggling Granny The Jolly Black Widow The Lonely Hearts Killer|
|Imprisoned at||California Medical Facility|
But both Hitler and Stalin were outdone by Mao Zedong. From 1958 to 1962, his Great Leap Forward policy led to the deaths of up to 45 million people—easily making it the biggest episode of mass murder ever recorded.What happened on the 7th floor of the Cecil Hotel? ›
Smith died after jumping from one of the Cecil's seventh-floor windows. Gurnee, a San Francisco stationery firm employee, jumped from the window of her seventh-floor room and landed on top of Cecil's marquee. One week prior, she had registered at the hotel under the name "Margaret Brown."Who were the two serial killers at Cecil Hotel? ›
The most famous on their list are serial killers Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger. In 1985, Ramirez, known as the "Nightstalker," was living on the Cecil's top floor in a $14 a night room, Cooper said.
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Bruno Lüdke, (born 1909, Köpenick, Ger. —died April 8, 1944, Vienna, Austria), German serial killer who may have murdered more than 80 people.Who was the most prolific German serial killers? ›
|Name||Years active||Proven victims|
Joachim Georg Kroll (17 April 1933 – 1 July 1991) was a German serial killer, child molester, necrophile and cannibal who murdered a minimum of eight women and young girls in the Ruhr metropolitan region from 1955 until his arrest on 3 July 1976.Who was the first female serial killer put to death? ›
Aileen Wuornos, 46, was executed by lethal injection on Oct. 9, 2002, for the deaths of six men along Central Florida highways in 1989 and 1990. She was known as America's first female serial killer.
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Augusta Wilhelmine Gein was a God-fearing woman who tried to instil in her son that sex was evil and women were instruments of the devil. In doing so she helped create a monster – Ed Gein, aka The Butcher of Plainfield – whose grotesque real-life perversions and savagery sparked a whole genre of horror fiction.Who was the serial killer that wore his mom? ›
Gein admitted to killing the two women—both of whom allegedly resembled his mother—but pled not guilty by reason of insanity. In late 1957 he was deemed unfit for trial and was subsequently confined in various psychiatric institutions.What serial killer had a daughter? ›
About the Author
Rawson is the New York Times bestselling author of A Serial Killer's Daughter. She is the daughter of Dennis Rader, also known as the serial killer "BTK," and is a passionate advocate for victims of abuse, crime, and trauma.
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|Name||Date of birth||Date of killing(s)|
|Carl Newton Mahan||September 22, 1922||May 18, 1929|
|Dedrick Owens||1993||February 29, 2000|
|Lizzie Cook||1892–1893||February 27, 1899|
|Unnamed boy||?||June 2, 1910|
Nearing the age of eight at the time of his arrest, Amarjeet earned the dubious distinction of being the youngest serial killer in the world. Amarjeet was born in 1998 to a poor Indian couple working as laborers in Bihar state of India.What country has the most serial killers? ›
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Craig Price (murderer)
|Span of crimes||July 27, 1987 – September 1, 1989|
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Among the guests staying at the Cecil Hotel in the 1980s and 1990s were high-profile serial killers Jack Unterweger and Richard Ramirez. Ramirez – known as the Night Stalker — was reportedly a resident of the hotel during his killing spree between 1984 and 1985, paying just $14 per night for his room.Did American Horror Story shoot at the Cecil Hotel? ›
No part of American Horror Story: Hotel was filmed at the Cecil. To create the iconic hotel at the center of this chilling season, the team built a six-story hotel set on the Fox lot.Did the Black Dahlia stay at the Cecil Hotel? ›
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When deputies arrived at the house, they found five fatally wounded people inside, Adams said. The victims were identified Saturday by the Cecil County Sheriff's Office as Marcus Edward Milligan, 39; Tara Devina Ricker Milligan, 37, and their children Teresa Milligan, 14; Nora Milligan, 11 and Finn Milligan, 8.
In the late 1960s, a retiree living in one of the residential rooms was discovered dead in her room, apparently the victim of rape, physical assault, and stabbing. Her murder was never solved. Serial killer Richard Ramirez, who was known to frequent Skid Row, was a resident of the hotel before his capture in 1985.What hotel has had the most deaths? ›
The Cecil Hotel or Hotel Cecil is known for its litany of unnerving incidents, seeing its first tragedy just a few years after it first opened its doors in 1927. Since then, its walls have witnessed 16 murders, a slew of suicides, and even housed one of the most notorious serial killers in American history.Did someone jump off the Cecil Hotel? ›
Smith died after jumping from one of the Cecil's seventh-floor windows. Gurnee, a San Francisco stationery firm employee, jumped from the window of her seventh-floor room and landed on top of Cecil's marquee. One week prior, she had registered at the hotel under the name "Margaret Brown."What was the cause of Cecil Hurts death? ›
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The location is loosely based on the Cecil Hotel, marked by deaths and tragedies.What movie was filmed in the Cecil Hotel? ›
The notorious Cecil Hotel grows in infamy when guest Elisa Lam vanishes. From the creator of "The Ted Bundy Tapes," a dive into crime's darkest places. Watch all you want.What serial killer is based on American Horror Story? ›
March counter-reminds him that anything is possible in the hotel. John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer introduce themselves, and John recognizes the Zodiac Killer, Aileen, and Richard Ramirez on his own, when Gacy handcuffs him to his chair.What movie was filmed in a haunted hotel? ›
1408 is a 2007 American psychological horror film based on Stephen King's 1999 short story of the same name. It stars John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson, was directed by Mikael Håfström and released in the United States on June 22, 2007.Is The Black Dahlia still alive? › Was the killer of The Black Dahlia ever caught? ›
The case was never solved. However, authorities at the time interviewed hundreds of suspects and focused seriously on about 25, including Hodel. However, suspicion of Hodel was not publicly known until decades later.
Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel is the first season of the Crime Scene docuseries. Released in 2021 and directed by Joe Berlinger, it chronicles the death of Elisa Lam at the Cecil Hotel. It features Viveca Chow, Judy Ho and Artemis Snow and premiered on February 10, 2021 on Netflix.