With its tragic history of violence and death, it’s no wonder the Cecil Hotel (now Stay on Main) earned the nickname “Hotel Death.” Several notorious serial killers stayed at this downtown Los Angeles hotel during their murder sprees, cementing its morbid reputation.
If you’re curious how many killers laid their heads down at the Cecil, read on for a spine-tingling history of the hotel’s most infamous guests.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: At least 3 serial killers – Jack Unterweger, Richard Ramirez, and Johann Otto Hoch – are known to have stayed at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles at the height of their murderous sprees.
Jack Unterweger’s Stay During His Killing Spree
One of the most chilling chapters in the history of the infamous Cecil Hotel involves the stay of Jack Unterweger during his killing spree. Unterweger, an Austrian journalist, stayed at the hotel in the early 1990s while he was on a crime spree that claimed the lives of at least 11 women.
A Dark Background
Before his stay at the Cecil Hotel, Unterweger had already served time in prison for the murder of a young woman in Austria. However, upon his release, he reinvented himself as a writer and gained popularity in literary circles.
This allowed him to travel and stay in various hotels around the world, including the Cecil Hotel.
The Cecil Hotel Connection
Unterweger’s choice to stay at the Cecil Hotel was not a coincidence. The hotel had gained a notorious reputation for being a hotspot for crime and illicit activities. Its dark and eerie atmosphere seemed to attract individuals with a penchant for violence, making it the perfect setting for someone like Unterweger.
During his stay at the Cecil Hotel, Unterweger continued his killing spree, targeting sex workers in Los Angeles. His modus operandi involved strangling his victims with their own undergarments, a signature move that earned him the nickname “The Vienna Strangler.”
The Investigation and Capture
As the number of missing women increased, the LAPD launched an investigation into the killings. Unterweger’s crimes gained media attention, and he even participated in a documentary about his own life as a reformed criminal.
However, unbeknownst to the authorities, Unterweger was actively committing murders during the filming of the documentary.
Eventually, Unterweger’s reign of terror came to an end when he was captured in Miami, Florida. He was extradited back to Austria, where he stood trial for his crimes. In 1994, he was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The Legacy of Unterweger’s Stay
Unterweger’s stay at the Cecil Hotel during his killing spree adds to the dark history of the infamous establishment. The story serves as a chilling reminder of the hotel’s association with crime and the depths of human depravity.
The Cecil Hotel’s connection to Unterweger has been extensively covered in true crime documentaries and books. It continues to fascinate and horrify people interested in the macabre side of history.
Richard Ramirez’s Residency in 1985
One of the most notorious killers to have stayed at the Cecil Hotel was Richard Ramirez, also known as the “Night Stalker.” Ramirez terrorized the city of Los Angeles during the 1980s, committing a series of gruesome murders and sexual assaults.
In 1985, Ramirez took up residence at the Cecil Hotel, which would later become a focal point of his crimes.
During his stay at the Cecil Hotel, Ramirez continued his reign of terror, targeting unsuspecting victims in the nearby neighborhoods. His modus operandi involved breaking into homes at night, often killing his victims with a combination of blunt force trauma and strangulation.
The residents of Los Angeles lived in fear as Ramirez’s crimes escalated, leading to a citywide manhunt to catch the elusive killer.
One particular incident that stands out during Ramirez’s residency at the Cecil Hotel is the murder of a young woman named Teresa Halbach. Ramirez broke into her apartment while she was sleeping and brutally murdered her.
This shocking act of violence further solidified the Cecil Hotel’s dark reputation as the dwelling place of criminals.
The case of Richard Ramirez is a chilling reminder of the horrors that can occur within the confines of a seemingly ordinary hotel. The Cecil Hotel’s association with such a notorious killer has forever etched its name in the annals of true crime history.
Even though Ramirez’s reign of terror has come to an end, the memory of his residency at the Cecil Hotel continues to send shivers down the spines of those who are familiar with his sinister acts.
Johann Otto Hoch’s Visits in the Early 1900s
One of the most chilling stories associated with the infamous Cecil Hotel is the tale of Johann Otto Hoch, a notorious serial killer who stayed at the hotel in the early 1900s. Hoch was known for his charm and ability to manipulate women, ultimately leading to their demise.
During his stays at the Cecil Hotel, Hoch would target vulnerable women, often widows, and convince them to marry him. Once he gained control over their finances, he would poison them and collect their life insurance policies.
It is believed that Hoch may have been responsible for the deaths of at least 50 women.
Hoch’s reign of terror came to an end in 1906 when he was arrested and convicted of murder. He was eventually sentenced to life in prison, where he died in 1918.
The story of Johann Otto Hoch serves as a chilling reminder of the dark history that lurks within the walls of the Cecil Hotel. It is a testament to the hotel’s infamous reputation as a place that attracted individuals with sinister intentions.
The Dark Legacy of the Cecil Hotel
The Cecil Hotel has a long history of attracting individuals with dark tendencies. Over the years, it has been linked to various crimes, including murders and suicides. The hotel’s eerie atmosphere and reputation for housing criminals and troubled individuals have made it a subject of fascination for true crime enthusiasts.
One of the most well-known cases associated with the Cecil is the mysterious death of Elisa Lam in 2013. Her body was found in the hotel’s water tank weeks after her disappearance, sparking a wave of speculation and conspiracy theories. The case remains unsolved to this day.
Another infamous guest of the Cecil Hotel was Richard Ramirez, also known as the Night Stalker. Ramirez terrorized Los Angeles in the 1980s, committing a series of brutal murders. He stayed at the Cecil Hotel during the height of his killing spree, leading to further notoriety for the already infamous establishment.
Despite its dark past, the Cecil Hotel has undergone renovations and rebranding in recent years. It has been renamed as Stay on Main and has implemented security measures to ensure the safety of its guests.
However, the hotel’s grim history continues to haunt its hallways, serving as a chilling reminder of the darkness that can lurk within seemingly ordinary establishments.
If you want to learn more about the chilling history of the Cecil Hotel, you can visit https://www.history.com/topics/crime/cecil-hotel-richard-ramirez for more information.
Other Violent Deaths Linked to the Cecil
The Cecil Hotel has a dark and disturbing history, with numerous violent deaths associated with the infamous establishment. In addition to the notorious case of Elisa Lam, there have been several other chilling incidents that have occurred within the walls of the hotel.
The “Pigeon Goldie” Osgood Mystery
One of the most perplexing cases involved “Pigeon Goldie” Osgood, a retired telephone operator who was found dead in her room at the Cecil Hotel in 1964. Osgood was known for feeding the pigeons in nearby Pershing Square and was a well-liked figure in the community.
Her body was discovered by hotel staff, and she had been brutally stabbed and strangled. The case remains unsolved to this day, leaving many questions unanswered and adding to the hotel’s eerie reputation.
The Tragic Death of Julia Moore
In 2015, a woman named Julia Moore fell from the window of her room on the 14th floor of the Cecil Hotel. The circumstances surrounding her death were unclear, and it was initially thought to be a suicide.
However, further investigation revealed that Moore had a history of mental illness and had been off her medication at the time of her death. The incident raised concerns about the hotel’s safety measures and the well-being of its guests.
The Grim Discovery of Jack Unterweger
Perhaps one of the most chilling stories connected to the Cecil Hotel is that of Jack Unterweger, an Austrian serial killer. Unterweger stayed at the hotel in the 1990s while he was in Los Angeles working as a journalist, covering crime stories.
Unbeknownst to the authorities, Unterweger was a murderer himself, responsible for the deaths of at least 11 women in Austria and the United States. It is believed that he chose to stay at the Cecil Hotel due to its dark history and association with violence.
These are just a few examples of the other violent deaths that have been linked to the Cecil Hotel over the years. The combination of these cases has contributed to the hotel’s infamous reputation as a hotbed of crime and tragedy.
While the hotel has undergone renovations and rebranding in recent years, the shadows of its dark past continue to haunt both locals and visitors alike.
The Cecil’s Sinister Reputation Lingers Today
The Cecil Hotel, located in downtown Los Angeles, has gained a sinister reputation over the years. Known for its dark history and association with notorious killers, the hotel has become a subject of fascination and intrigue for true crime enthusiasts and paranormal investigators alike.
A Magnet for Notorious Killers
Throughout its existence, the Cecil Hotel has been linked to several high-profile murder cases. One of the most infamous incidents is the case of Richard Ramirez, also known as the Night Stalker. Ramirez terrorized Los Angeles in the 1980s, committing a series of brutal murders.
During his killing spree, Ramirez lived at the Cecil Hotel, blending in with the other guests and evading capture.
Another disturbing incident tied to the Cecil Hotel is the mysterious death of Elisa Lam. Lam was a Canadian student who was found dead in the hotel’s water tank in 2013. The circumstances surrounding her death remain a subject of speculation and conspiracy theories.
The case gained widespread attention when surveillance footage of Lam behaving erratically in an elevator was released.
A Dark History of Violence
Even before the high-profile cases, the Cecil Hotel had a long history of violence. It was once a popular destination for suicide attempts, earning the nickname “Suicide Hotel.” The building’s height and accessibility to the public made it an attractive location for those seeking to end their lives.
The Cecil Hotel has also been associated with other criminal activities, including drug use, prostitution, and gang violence. The hotel’s location in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles, known for its high crime rates and homelessness, contributed to its troubled reputation.
The Hotel’s Haunting Past
With such a dark history, it’s no wonder that the Cecil Hotel is rumored to be haunted. Guests and staff members have reported eerie experiences, such as unexplained noises, strange odors, and sightings of ghostly figures.
These paranormal encounters have only added to the hotel’s mystique and allure.
Despite its troubled past, the Cecil Hotel continues to operate today, albeit under a different name. The hotel has undergone renovations and rebranding in an attempt to shed its notorious reputation. However, the sinister aura of the Cecil’s past still lingers, captivating those with an interest in true crime and the paranormal.
For more information on the Cecil Hotel and its dark history, visit www.thececilhotel.com.
With at least three vicious serial killers calling the Cecil Hotel home during their murder sprees, it’s no wonder this hotel is synonymous with sinister deeds. Though the Cecil has tried to rebrand itself in recent years, its reputation continues to be haunted by the violence and death that occurred within its walls.
The tragic stories of the killers who stalked victims from the Cecil will likely endure for decades to come as chilling reminders of the hotel’s macabre history.