News 88.9 KNPR
Classical 89.7 KCNV
NV89 Discover Music

an member station


Out Of The Darkness: Escaping The Las Vegas Tunnels


Ryan Weber/ Courtesy

If you don’t know Matt O’Brien, it’s very likely you know his book, "Beneath the Neon." The book was an investigation of the sewer tunnels and the people who live in them underneath Las Vegas.

O’Brien, though, is leaving Las Vegas next week and moving to Central America.

But before he goes south of the border, he’s here with us to talk about what’s in store and how the people in the tunnels will not be forgotten.

His community project, Shine A Light, which helps people escape the tunnels, will keep going while he's gone. But it will have someone else in charge.

Paul Vautrinot lived for years in the tunnels under Las Vegas and Henderson. He only got out after a warrant arrest by Henderson police. After a second chance in drug court, he overcame drug addiction, got married and has a child.

O'Brien is leaving him in charge of Shine A Light.

Support comes from


Matt O'Brien, author, "Beneath the Neon"; Paul Vautrinot, head of Shine A Light

Our journalism speaks for itself, and we answer only to you. That’s thanks to the 11,000 members of Nevada Public Radio. Each of them made a small commitment and became members of Nevada Public Radio. They didn’t have to — but because they did, you are here now. So we extend a hand and say, “Come join us!”

More Stories

Paul Vautrinot
Desert Companion
All in
KNPR's State of Nevada
Apr 24, 2009

Homeless Count

KNPR's State of Nevada