A Plymouth couple have featured on a new four-part true crime documentary Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel on Netflix after they stayed at the infamous haunt in 2013.
Crownhill couple Michael and Sabina Baugh, both 27 at the time, noticed an odd taste and low water pressure in their room in their Los Angeles hotel during their stay eight years ago – and were shocked to discover the apparent truth behind it.
The new four-part documentary investigates the mystery of 21-year-old Canadian girl Elisa Lam, who went missing just days after checking into the Cecil Hotel.
After a couple from Plymouth complained to staff members that the water ‘tasted funny’ and had a brown tinge, they were moved to a different room.
But when staff went to find out what the problem was, they made a horrifying discovery.
The Herald covered the story extensively at the time and Michael and Sabina ended up winning a hefty pay out for their troubles – after the the naked body of the Elisa was discovered in the water tank. Her body had moderately decomposed and had become bloated.
The exact circumstances of her death have still yet to be solved, but the much-delayed autopsy report concluded that she had died by accidental drowning.
Michael and his wife almost moved to LA a few years ago as he is sponsored by 12 companies, of which most are based in California, but felt a strong connection to the city.
Mike told PlymouthLive: “Prior to the lockdown we were planning to visit his studio in LA as we were being flown out by Netflix to be interviewed for a documentary.
“We chose to stay here, where I was born and grew up.”
More about the Cecil Hotel
In 1947, the hotel became linked to one of the most notorious murders in US history – the Black Dahlia.
It had been rumoured that the Dahlia herself Elizabeth Short, a wannabe actress, had been spotted at the hotel’s bar shortly before her murder.
Short was later found in Leimert Park dead, her body having been been mutilated and bisected at the waist.
Her murder remains unsolved.
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In the mid 1980s, the infamous serial killer Richard Ramirez who was dubbed ‘The Night Stalker’ was reported to have stayed at the hotel.
Ramirez would become notorious as a serial killer, serial rapist, kidnapper, pedophile, and burglar, who had attacked numerous people around California.
This was also followed by a reported stay from international serial killer Jack Unterweger in the 1990s.
Pay out for Mike and Sabina
The couple were offered a refund and compensation after their stay was ruined by tragedy.
The pair has been drinking and washing in the water – which was later found to contain no harmful bacteria – for the first week of their stay.
Travel firm Thomas Cook subsequently offered the couple £2,000 to make up for the ruined package holiday, which cost them about £1,500.
The couple said they were “devastated” by what happened and Sabina revealed she was “distressed” by the whole experience.
-- to www.plymouthherald.co.uk