The story of Pablo Vergara is a cautionary tale of how a group of web sleuths can unintentionally but permanently damage the life of an innocent person. The “Morbid” musician and singer was falsely named as the person who killed Elisa Lam at the Cecil Hotel, even though he was not even in the country at the time of Lam’s death.
Vergara was a death metal musician in Mexico City. He appeared on the Netflix docuseries Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, and discussed how he received death threats and antagonism online, accusing him in Lam’s death because he had once been at the same hotel as Lam. The docuseries was released on Netflix on February 10. After Vergara was falsely accused, he left music to become a filmmaker. He is working on a full-length feature film today.
Here’s what you need to know:
Vergara Was Accused of Killing Lam, a Woman He Never Met, & He Was Attacked Online Until He Attempted Suicide
Vergara learned he had been accused of killing Lam when he was sent a link to a Taiwanese news outlet’s video naming him as a suspect in the 21-year-old woman’s death. Her mysterious death became fodder for conspiracy theorists after police released video of her acting strangely in an elevator in the notorious Cecil Hotel on Los Angeles’ skid row. An investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Coroner determined Lam died accidentally due to drowning, likely a result of a bipolar episode.
Vergara said the accusation was spurred on by a video he posted at the Cecil Hotel. But he had not been there for 14 months, and he said he was in Mexico at the time of Lam’s death. He was questioned by Mexican federal authorities as the accusations swirled, but no charges were filed against him. He posted a video online saying he was not responsible for her death and said he was innocent. He disguised his voice and wore a mask, fearing he would be harmed. Still, the death threats continued, he said on the documentary, and people online continued to call him a murderer. It led to depression and suicidal thoughts, he said.
“What happened to me could happen to anyone,” he said.
Many people have been falsely accused and berated online, and Vergara said he is grateful to be one of those who survived it.
“Lots of people get bullied, and they don’t make it,” he said.
Morbid Left Music to Earn a Master’s Degree From New York Film Academy & Began an Award-Winning Career in Horror Films
Vergara shared openly on the documentary about attempting suicide after he was falsely accused of killing the young woman he never met. He was hospitalized and survived, but his music career largely died. He became concerned that his dark music, which threw a spotlight on him as a potential killer, would be misinterpreted.
Instead, Morbid enrolled at the New York Film Academy’s Filmmaking program in New York City in the fall of 2016 before moving to Los Angeles to complete his master’s in fine arts at the Hollywood campus, according to the New York Film Academy.
Becoming a father also played a role in his career change, he told the New York Film Academy’s publication. He said:
This is a rather personal question but to narrow it down, I became a father and was struggling in a failing music career where basically I was stuck and being ripped off left and right and was going nowhere. So I decided to make a drastic decision, and that was to change careers and move into film, another of my main passions! I shot many, many music videos and some music documentaries while being a pro musician, so it was just underlying for me. Film it is!
He released the 30-minute short film Necromurder: A Black Metal Story in 2018, which he shot and directed. The film won the award for Best International Fictional Film at FICIME Festival first edition in 2019 and the award for Best Music at the Shockfest International Film Festival in winter 2020. Today, it is being expanded into a full-length feature film, which is currently in post-production.
It tells the story of “a talented rock star from New York City [who] faces the demise of his music career at the hands of his evil band mate, who abuses his power as he owns the music rights of his compositions and steals all his money,” IMDB says.
He discusses his viewpoint on the biography of his website. It says:
Pablo C. Vergara Aka. Morbid is a multifaceted artist, Renaissance Man and World Traveller. He is often misinterpreted and questioned for his lifestyle and his artistic methods and endeavors. Inspired by the dark aspects in life and the nature of life/death, he’s been attacking the world with a avalanche of obscure and macabre art, scripts, video, literature, music, and photography.