Episode 10: You Can Check Out Any Time You Like, But You Can Never Leave

Hotels are a common fixture in almost any society. Since before the birth of Christ, and, come to think of it, even for the specific occasion of the birth of Christ, people have been hoping to find some room at the inn. But serving society’s weary travelers or playing host to out-of-towners away for both business and pleasure is only the beginning of functions hotels perform. Is there something to the idea that at some hotels you can check any time you like, but you can never leave? The Eagles styled a fictional inn as a purgatory of sorts in their classic song, “Hotel California”, and maybe that’s not as fantastical as it sounds. We take a look at the things that go on behind those ‘do not disturb’ signs, and see if there’s anything to the idea that hotels are beacons of the underworld. Using the Hotel Cecil, a real-life Hotel California if ever there was one, as a case study we work our way through the vices that draw people, such as Robert Ramirez and Elisa Lam, to these intersections of public and private life and the privacy and anonymity they provide.



Full Episode on iTunes

You Can Check Out Any Time You Like, But You Can Never Leave – Stream Full Episode 

Elisa Lam Elevator Footage

 Vice – Elisa Lam Drowned in a Water Tank Two Years Ago but the Obsession with her Death Lives On

CNN – California Horror Hotel

The Elevator Game

Taking Steps to Help Prevent Suicides in Hotels – Lodging Magazine

Hotel room suicide: Las Vegas and Clark County – Dept of Psychology and Behavioral Science – University of Washington, Seattle

Insider Vegas Secrets You Really, Really Don’t Want to Know About Las Vegas Hotels

Bureau of Justice Statistics – Location


Disorder at Budget Motels – State University of New York

Hotel Security: Room Invasion Robbery

Crime in the Suites – Washington Post

Dealing with Deaths in a Hotel – Chocolate Pillow

Motel and Hotel Room Invasion – Global Security Experts

5 thoughts on “Episode 10: You Can Check Out Any Time You Like, But You Can Never Leave

  1. Just started the podcast and up to episode 10 for now. Really loving it. Thanks for the great work and appreciate the audio update after Hooking Up episode! You two have great interaction with one another. I’m reminded of when Harry Met Sally and one finishes the words of the other. Works really well on the podcast! Thanks for your work between your busy life and hot Austin days


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