Murder, bodies and paranormal activity: Welcome to the Cecil Hotel

The first six suicides

In the 1930s, no less than six suicides were committed in the Cecil Hotel. Several people swallowed poison, another shot himself, yet another slit his own throat with a razor and another person took his own life by jumping off the hotel roof.

Baby from the hotel window

The first murder is said to have taken place in September 1944. The 19-year-old Dorothy Jean Purcell stayed at the hotel with 38-year-old Levine. Dorothy suffered from abdominal pain and retreated to the toilet. There she gave birth to a son, without knowing that she was pregnant at all. The teenager thought her newborn son was dead and she threw her living baby out of the window. He ended up on the roof of the adjacent building. She was prosecuted, but not found guilty of murder. However, Purcell was admitted to hospital for psychological treatment.

Two in one fall

In 1962, the unsuspecting George Gianni was killed when he was walking by the hotel and a woman fell on top of him. The 27-year-old Pauline Otton had jumped out of the window on the ninth floor after having words with her estranged husband Dewey. Not only did Pauline die from the fall, it also resulted in George’s death. At first the police thought that the two of them committed suicide together, but after investigation it turned out that Pauline had fallen on top of George.

After this fatal incident, the Cecil Hotel was listed the most haunting hotel in Los Angeles. Although that turned out to be only the beginning.

Serial killer Ramirez

In the time of his gruesome murders in the 1980s, serial killer Richard Ramirez stayed at the hotel. He was known as the Night Stalker and took the lives of 13 people. After a murder, he dumped his bloody clothes in the bins of the Cecil Hotel. He then walked through the lobby to his room in his birthday suit.

Serial killer Unterwellter

That was not the only time a criminal stayed in the hotel. In 1991, the Austrian Jack Unterweger found his home in the American hotel. The serial killer murdered prostitutes by strangling them with their own bras. It is said that Unterweger chose the hotel because he knew that Ramirez also stayed here during his murderous period.


Several murders took place in and around the hotel, some of which remain unsolved to this day. One example is the murder of Goldie Osgood. She was found dead in her hotel room. The woman had been raped and subsequently stabbed and beaten to death.

Goldie’s case is not the only unsolved death in the Cecil Hotel. On the next page you can read even stranger cases, such as the one of Black Dahlia – a case on which several films are based – and the one of Elisa Lam.

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