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Crime News

'I Survived It': How A Heavy Metal Musician Found Himself Wrongly Accused Of Killing Elisa Lam

Pablo Camilo stayed at the Cecil Hotel a year before Elisa Lam mysteriously died in 2013. Even though he was in Mexico during her accidental death, he was wrongfully named a suspect in her hypothesized murder. 

By Gina Tron

A Mexican heavy metal musician with no connection to Elisa Lam found himself at the center of a conspiracy theory involving the young Canadian woman’s mysterious 2013 death and was even wrongfully named a suspect by internet sleuths obsessing over the case. 

Pablo Camilo was going by the stage name of "Morbid" in 2012 when he booked a room at the Cecil Hotel, located near Los Angeles’ Skid Row neighborhood. The following year, Lam — a 21-year-old Canadian student, who was also known by her Cantonese name Lam Ho Yi — stayed at the hotel as she traveled the West Coast. 

During her stay, she vanished. Her body was not discovered until weeks after her disappearance when hotel residents complained about water pressure. Lam’s body was found floating inside one of the water towers on top of the hotel roof, as Netflix's new docuseries “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel” details. 

Investigators ultimately ruled that her death was an accident, concluding that she had died of accidental drowning, with her diagnosis of bipolar disorder called a significant factor in her death. As the series points out, she was diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder, which can include psychotic side effects and breaks.

Pablo C Vergara Netflix

However, because of some strange circumstances surrounding her death — including eerie elevator footage which appeared to show her either talking to someone in the hallway or perhaps having a psychotic break — talk of conspiracy and wild theories, including some involving the supernatural, ran rampant online as her story went global.

One prominent theory was that she was murdered. 

Days after Lam’s death, Camilo had uploaded a music video for a song called “Died in Pain,” which features a young girl being chased down. He also posted videos that theorists picking apart the details surrounding the case and hotel's past believed made allusions to the Cecil. One video he uploaded featured a photo of "Black Dahlia" Elizabeth Short, whose notorious Los Angeles murder in 1947 has never been solved. Short was rumored to have been spotted at the hotel just days before she died.

Camilo explained in the docuseries that he's always been drawn to the "dark" aspects of life, particularly in his art. As the docuseries shows, internet sleuths misunderstood him and wrongfully said online that Camilo stayed at the Cecil Hotel at the same time as Lam. This misinformation spread quickly online and he was deemed a suspect in internet forums; an online witch hunt ensued. To make matters worse, at least one international outlet wrongly called him a suspect. As a result, he soon became the victim of online harassment and even death threats, he said.

Camilo told the producers of the docuseries that he didn't know who Lam was until he was called a suspect online. Still, authorities investigated him but he was never charged, as he was actually back in Mexico when she died. 

In the new docuseries, Calmio accuses the online sleuths of judging him on his clothing and art alone. He said that he attempted suicide as a result of being falsely accused. 

“I survived it, but lots of people get cyber bullied and they don’t make it,” Camilo said. 

He added that the incident killed his drive to make music. However, it didn’t squash his interest in creating. His IMDB page indicates that he’s been thriving as a filmmaker and actor. 

“For over 20 years, he has compiled a vast body of work including, but not limited to, producing, screenwriting, directing, cinematography and editing, on feature films, short films, music videos, commercial videos and documentaries,” his bio states. 

In 2016, Camilo enrolled in the filmmaking program at the New York Film Academy and then later completed his MFA at the school’s Los Angeles campus, according to a 2019 blog post from the institution.

His IMDB page states that he is most well known for writing, producing, directing, and starring in “Necromurder: A Black Metal Story,” which is inspired by the infamous 1993 murder of Euronymous, a Norwegian black metal musician. 

“When I am through with ‘Necromurder’ (and it might take a while) I will definitely want to shoot my other screenplays, real cool sci-fi and serial killer stories that I wrote,” he told NYFA in 2019. “Those movies would look so cool if ever made. My plan I guess is just to consolidate as a serious filmmaker and keep bringing good quality films and stories into the world!"

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