Netflix's latest true-crime docu-series Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel has left shocked viewers with plenty of questions. Detailing the mysterious death of Elisa Lam, a 21-year-old student, the four-part series recreates some of the events that led up to the discovery of her body. Lam's Tumblr, nouvelle-nouveau, features heavily and actually formed a part of the investigation. But can you still see it and how was Eliza Lam's Tumbler page updated, even after her death?
As detailed in the series, Lam was an avid user of Tumblr and saw it as a diary of sorts. So much so, that the police used it as part of their investigation in order to retrace her steps. Throughout Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, scenes recreate Lam updating her Tumblr, accompanied with a voiceover, a decision director Joe Berlinger says was an "integral part" to the show. “[Elisa’s] story is an integral part of the Cecil Hotel’s history,” said Berlinger in an interview. “I didn’t want to invent dialogue or create speculative situations, so everything she says via voiceover in the show comes directly from her online posts.”
Lam's Tumblr blog, nouvelle-nouveau, is still available to access online to this day. Her bio quotes author Chuck Palahniuk’s Diary (“You’re always haunted by the idea you’re wasting your life”) and posts show her arrival at the Hotel Cecil in Los Angeles, and the “monstrosity” of a building next to her hotel.
In a creepy turn of events, Lam's Tumblr was updated right up until December 2013, months after she was eventually found, begging the question: who updated Lam's Tumblr after her death? According to Reddit theories, it is “well known and believed” that Lam used a post queue to schedule future posts.
The details of Elisa Lam's death are extremely distressing, making her posthumous Tumblr blog even more haunting. The student checked into her hotel on Jan. 31, 2013, and vanished just one day after. After the LAPD released harrowing CCTV footage of Lam acting erratically in a hotel elevator before her death, interest in the case grew.
Nearly two weeks later, Lam's naked body was found in a water tank on the hotel's roof after guests complained about dark and foul-tasting water. The strange circumstances of the case have led to a number of theories about her death.