In 2013, Candian student Elisa Lam was found dead at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles from drowning with the autopsy suggesting reasons related to her bipolar and depression diagnosis. Her gruesome death is explored in the latest Netflix documentary Crime Scene: The Vanishing at Cecil Hotel.
The musician Pablo Vergara surfaces at the end of the third episode of the miniseries. He is also referred to as his stage persona, Morbid.
Internet speculation was plentiful during the investigation into Lam’s disappearance. While examining surveillance footage from Lam’s last reported day at the hotel, the detectives released a video of Lam acting erratically in the elevator of the Cecil Hotel.
They hoped that the online community could help decipher the events and track the young woman down. Instead, they enticed a powerful group of internet sleuths.
Throughout the investigation, these sleuths would connect online through a variety of different platforms— commonly YouTube and Facebook. They were recording videos, podcasts and delegating other amateurs to complete tasks that would help them receive updated information on the case.
In addition to this, they would band together to cultivate conspiracies and bring attention to a series of strange coincidences. One being, the metal rock artist Pablo Vergara.
Who is Pablo Vergara?
Pablo Vergara was a heavy metal musician who was wrongfully accused of murdering Elisa Lam by online conspiracists. The performer had previously posted a video of him staying at the Cecil Hotel.
Many people believed that his video, coupled with his dark music and appearance, was him leaving a trail of breadcrumbs towards the real answer behind Elisa Lam’s death.
Vergara performs under the persona Morbid who is described on his website as, “Inspired by the dark aspects in life and the nature of life/death, he’s been attacking the world with an avalanche of obscure and macabre art, scripts, video, literature, music, and photography.”
He founded a production company and has been actively creating a series of horror stories.
The internet community verbally attacked Vergara and highlighted the fake blood on his face in his videos and photos, his Ted Bundy poster, and a series of his lyrics in reference to drowning and China.
In the fourth episode of the Crime Scene documentary, Vergara was interviewed and he opened up about how the accusations had a negative impact on his life. He shared that the “hundreds” of abusive messages he was receiving took a toll on his mental health and he attempted suicide.
The accusations were brought to him by his friend in February 2013 where a Taiwanese news report labeled him as a murder suspect. Although he was quickly cleared by the police (he was recording music in Mexico at the time), the online abuse continued.
He believes he was profiled by the web sleuths because of the way he looked. Vergara responded to them with a video where he stated his innocence, wearing a mask and using technology to distort his voice because he was “paranoid.”
In response to his video, the sleuths continued to spread their accusations and send him death threats. Vergara’s Facebook account and YouTube channel ended up having to be shut down because they were receiving such a high volume of reports.
He said he “felt powerless” and “got into a really bad place,” and he ended up being admitted into a psychiatric hospital. He shared, “I do feel like I lost my freedom of expression, I actually haven’t made any more music and when I try, it’s not the same.”
Being interviewed for the Netflix documentary almost a decade later, he still shares in present-tense that his life “sucks.”
Crime Scene: The Vanishing at Cecil Hotel is currently streaming on Netflix.