Netflix's 'Crime Scene': Cecil Hotel General Manager Speaks Outs for First Time (Exclusive)
By Stacy Lambe
The 2013 disappearance of Elisa Lam and the long, dark history of the Cecil Hotel are the subjects of Netflix’s newest docuseries, Crime Scene, which “deconstructs the mythology and mystery surrounding infamous locations in contemporary crime.” The first season, dubbed The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, uses Lam’s untimely death as a way to explore the notorious Los Angeles establishment that’s become associated with infamous suicides and housing serial killers.
Ahead of its premiere on Wednesday, ET has an exclusive first look at an interview with Amy Price, the hotel’s former general manager from 2007 to 2017, who opens up about experiences for the first time.
“Unfortunately, a lot of them were thinking, there’s some crazy, creepy person behind the scenes that just doesn’t care and is running this hotel where all these bad things happen, and it’s not true,” Price says on camera, when asked about what people imagine the manager of the Cecil Hotel to be.
She then goes on to explain all the “unique challenges” of working at a place like Cecil Hotel, which has been the location of many murders, overdoses and suicides and even inspired American Horror Story: Hotel. “I never got used to that,” she says.
“While the Elisa Lam case is the driving force that takes viewers from episode to episode throughout this season, we wanted to expand our focus and tell the story of the Cecil Hotel to not only give historical context, but to help viewers understand how such a tragedy, and others like it, could have occurred,” director Joe Berlinger explains to ET, while adding that “the Cecil was a jewel in L.A. when it was built in 1924, a far cry from how it is perceived today, so we wanted to examine how it fell from grace over the years.”
Berlinger says that “Amy’s firsthand experience in the hotel is invaluable and we were thrilled she agreed to participate -- this is the first time she's spoken publicly about her experience. Despite everything she had to contend with while she worked there, she has a real affection and affinity with the hotel.”
When it comes to securing her on camera for the first time, Berlinger believes that “Amy trusted us to tell the full story of Elisa's death and the circumstances that surrounded it rather than inaccurately summing up her tragic death as a ghost story like so many have done before,” reveals the longtime true-crime documentarian behind Netflix’s Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes and the acclaimed Paradise Lost series. “I believe that my reputation and previous projects gave her confidence that we would tell the story completely and fairly.”