New Book Reveals the Secret World Beneath Las Vegas

Author finds people, art, mystery, and myth in the tunnels of Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NV – When a psychotic killer escaped a manhunt by disappearing into the storm-drain tunnels in downtown Las Vegas and emerging near the Strip, it stimulated the curiosity of Las Vegas editor/writer Matthew O’Brien. Armed with a flashlight, tape recorder, and expandable baton, O’Brien explored the Las Vegas flood-control system for more than four years. Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas chronicles O’Brien’s adventures in this uncharted underworld.

Initially, he followed the footsteps of Timmy “T.J.” Weber, who murdered his girlfriend and her son and raped her daughter (and who now sits on Death Row). But the tunnels quickly became an obsession, and O’Brien unearthed more secrets, chased more ghosts, and had more insights than he ever did, or could, aboveground in Las Vegas.

Matthew O’Brien, raised in Atlanta, has lived in Las Vegas since 1997. His fiction and nonfiction have been published in magazines, newspapers and literary journals. He’s currently news editor and a writer of Las Vegas CityLife, an alternative-weekly newspaper.

Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas (ISBN 978-0-929712-39-0, Huntington Press, $19.95) includes more than 30 photographs of the people, art, and architecture O’Brien discovered in the storm drains. The book will be available in bookstores and through online retailers around the country on June 1.

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