Las Vegas CityLife Writer’s Book Reveals Secret World Beneath the City

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 morbid curiosity of Las Vegas writer and then Tucson Weekly contributing editor Matt O’Brien. Armed with a flashlight, tape recorder and an expandable baton for protection, 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.

Matt O’Brien, raised in the Atlanta, has lived in Las Vegas since 1997. His fiction and nonfiction have been published in several magazines, newspapers, and literary journals. He’s currently news editor and writer of Las Vegas CityLife, an alternative-weekly newspaper and the former sister paper of Tucson Weekly.

Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas (Huntington Press, $19.95) includes more than 30 photographs of the people, art, and architecture O’Brien discovered in the storm drains. The book is available through Stephens Press at 702-387-5260 or

Len Cipkins 1-800-900-5166
Matt O’Brien: thesewersofparis (at)