I live near the far southwest corner of the Valley, around Fort Apache and Blue Diamond. It’s suburbia, but it’s better thought of as the edge of suburbia, the point where the city stops and the Mojave Desert resumes—Mountain Springs Summit and Red Rock Canyon are just around the corner. This is what makes living at the edge of town sometimes palatable, its easy proximity to the large swaths of desert, to winding roads, to hills and caves, to the relative absence of other people and other homes. We are, one likes to think, just about beyond the reach of graffiti and crime.
But not quite. Late last month, three homes in Mountains Edge burned to the ground; investigators are still trying to determine the cause. In early August the body of a man, dead from a gunshot wound, was found near the intersection. And last November two more people were found shot to the death, execution-style, in a burning car near the same intersection.
Even in the bucolic outer reaches of Las Vegas, it’s good to remember that the desert is where they bury the bodies.