2013 Shows

Beneath the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip lies a system of underground flash flood tunnels. Dark and dangerous, these tunnels house an untold number of the city’s homeless. Dr. Phil’s guests say their mom, Cindy, is one of them, and they want her out. Amber, Ashley, Angela and Atisha confide that Cindy, who is addicted to drugs and alcohol, lost custody of them when they were small children, and they’ve had sporadic contact with her ever since. Angela says she even ventured into the tunnels to get her mom, but Cindy wouldn’t leave -- refusing to be a burden on her children or abandon her husband, Rick. Dr. Phil sends professional locator Troy Dunn, along with Matt O’Brien, author of the book Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas, to find Cindy and Rick. Watch Troy and Matt navigate through this hidden underground society. What are the living conditions? How are people surviving? And, when they finally track down Cindy, will she agree to leave with them? Don’t miss this compelling two-part series.

Find out what happened on the show.
Replied By: bettyvaline on Oct 26, 2015, 6:47PM - In reply to ruthncole
They are both sober and doing great
Replied By: bettyvaline on Oct 26, 2015, 6:46PM - In reply to ruthncole
Ricky and Cyndi are doing great.  Both sober and employed
Replied By: ruthncole on Oct 20, 2014, 12:48PM
is there an update on this show that aired in 2013.

Leaving Life in the Tunnels

Replied By: cartersmum on Sep 13, 2013, 7:05AM - In reply to twinlove89
Thanks for responding.  So far so good then, that's good to hear. Is your step dad still in rehab too?

im routing for your family. I've never reached out on dr. Phil message boards but really wanted to show my support so signed up for that reason only so I'm very glad to be talking to you.

id be happy to listen if you ever want to talk. Hope you can keep me posted.

Take care,


Replied By: twinlove89 on Sep 12, 2013, 11:07PM - In reply to cartersmum
I friend requested you and wrote you a message in the friend request :)
Replied By: jokepainter on Sep 5, 2013, 7:22PM
We have homeless everywhere here and under bridges, i have seen while in a boat in Miami. It would seem our government would know how to help these people.  It is true they won't go to the places provided.  Our Salvation Army charges around $7.00 a night ea. WHAT? We help the whole world and our own are ignored.  Sure, they are drunks, or drugs.  So help them Government. ( NOT)  I am so glad you had this show on, as it is an important message.  We have people who work, where they get cleaned up,  UIt is a mystery to me, but they do? I have seen a woman living under the cover of a closed garage.  Righ out in plain sight.  During the day if your eyes are open, they are everywhere. Can Dr Phil find a way to have a show that will put our Government to task.  In California I was in a beutiful home overlooking the pacific oceon in Carlsbad. Each morning heads rose up from the bushes below and off people went out to the the road.  We help people in other countries and these people sleep in the bushes?? Americans, and yes Mexcans obviosly not American citizens.  But they are human beings. Does our Governmen have to act as though only humans live in countries outside of the United States of America? I didn't win the power ball so I'm no help and you do enough, and you work for it.
Replied By: jeannie812 on Sep 5, 2013, 3:32PM
According to my son I did nothing for him.  I may have well as have ditched him and me live in a sewer.  My son has ADHD and I battled with professionals all his life to try to get him the help he needed to be a successful student and future citizen.  But,  according to him he could have been raised by wolves with better results than my parenting.  

I raised my son by myself.  His dad checked out when my son was 9 years old,  and he had not seen his dad since he was 4.   I did have abusive boyfriends,  so this shaped my son. 

Who had a perfect childhood? 

I was raised by both parents.  My parents did not protect me.  They blamed me instead, and was told I would not leave the house.   Growing up on Milwaukee's northwest side men esposed themselves to me.  I was assulted and beat-up walking home.  This was not something that happened once or twice,  this was an ongoing thing.   I was bullied by teachers and everytime someone did something bad to me,  I was told by my dad  that I must have done something to them.  I was beaten with the belt.   I remember at 8-years old stealing 50 cents in candy from store and I got 10 lashes with the belt.

This is nothing compared to being raised in foster care.  But,  it was no picnic. 

I feel empathy to the sewer mom.   Instead of bad parenting,  she stepped to the side.   How is that such a sin?

My ex-husband was pure poison.  He wanted nothing to do with the kids.  Yet,  he had such deep seeded anger towards me that he poisoned the kids against me.   He used them as pawns in his game.  I wish he would have stepped to the side and live in the sewer.  

The sewer mom stepped aside instead of futher screwing up her kids.   People are quick to judge but why?  So we can feel like we are better than her?

I spent the last 19 years raising my ADHD son who turned out screwed up anyway.  I may as well have lived in a sewer and avoided mortgage, taxes,  insurance costs, and utility bills, food costs,  and not take care of the cats and the dog!.  

I would be labeled just as much of a jerk but at least I would have had a life of my own for all those years. ..! 

Life is screwed up.  You make your own life and we all live with what we make of it.

Replied By: cartersmum on Sep 4, 2013, 3:20PM - In reply to twinlove89
Hi sweetie(s)

i just wanted to send my love and prayers to all you 4 girls, and also to your mom.  Abandonment by a parent is devastating in any form, and this situation is incredibly sad and unfathomable. 

It amazes me how well you girls turned out given the circumstances.  I hope you are all very proud of yourselves.  I'm also proud of Cynthia for giving it a shot and I sincerely hope she gets well.

I wonder if you can tell me when this was taped and how things are going now?

I am a mom of a daughter myself, who knows what it is like to be left behind by her mom.  The anxiety and depression it has caused me even now at 37 years old is horrible.  I feel for you.  I was so afraid to have children after the way I grew up but now have a 5 year old and just can't understand how any mom coud turn  their back on their child.

God bless you all. I hope you will reply to me.

Replied By: msdemeanor0125 on Sep 4, 2013, 8:34AM
After watching both days of this story I was compelled to share mine because, at the age of 40+, I still carry a lot of anger, sadness and distrust of others today. My 'tunnel' is my home that I rarely leave and I have shut out much of the outside world, including friends and family. This is the first time I will be sharing my entire story to someone (even if it is somewhat anonymous).

As far back as I can remember all I have known is is being used and lied to...or just having family dysfunction and secrets swept under a rug and never spoken about or dealt with. This included witnessing a cheating mother while father was at work, beng locked in a bedroom for hours on end with no food or water or even access to a bathroom, myself and brother being molested by a family member and surviving on a minimal diet of primarily cereal, soup an pb&j sandwiches (if someone remembered to feed us). NO ONE ever stepped up to put an end to this. When my parents finally did split it only got worse. Then one day, with no warning, our mother had us pack up our belongings into large garbage bags and were dumped (or court ordered...we don't know) on our father. He, by now, had remarried someone 12 years younger than him. Mother, on the other hand, went on to start her life over...and pretending to have never had any children. I was around 10-11 years old when this occurred and have not seen her since. My sister did attempt contact with her and pretty much got told that she was not going to acknowledge the past and that she had moved on with her life. I have the letters from that exchange and was both angered and saddened by her not even acknowledging the existence of her children or her past.

Now we get to life with father and the bitch he married. This woman made life a living hell with her OCD for cleanliness and the physical and mental abuse toward my sister and I. She never could control my brothers so I think some of her anger from that was directed towards my sister and as well.

I often wondered where our father was during all this time, both in the early years and after we went to live with him. He passed away , long after I became adult and far away, without ever answering for or acknowledging the lifetime of anguish his children had to endure.

I did go on to marry and have two children. But, after quite a few years that fell apart as well. Which leaves me here today....alone, angry and very depressed (and yes, they make pills for that and I do take them). There are many more details to this story I left out due to the amount of time/space it would require.

I hope my experiences will wake up other parents to do right by their children.
Replied By: jennef on Sep 3, 2013, 9:11PM - In reply to momoftwo65
This is in reply to momoftwo65.

It's very uplifting to hear your human kindness. It's  sadly lacking in other comments  I find this very strange in a country where so many people harp on & on about being "Christian".When it comes to the crunch, it all goes out the window & the knives are drawn to inflict further hurt on someone who is already "below rockbottom",as Dr. Phil & Troy said.

"Treats her pet rat better"..... "Lives in the kindest ,most caring country in the world"...(!!!)..."I don't feel an iota of compassion for her"....."Bad influence on grandchildren: should be kept from them"...."Should be clean by now.."...& so on.

You,however, in your comment ,asked people to refrain from judging until they'd walked in the shoes of the one they're vilifying.

You are living through hardship & yet find the time & the heart have a few kind words for this woman.

Stop & think, all you finger-pointers ,the next time you walk past a homeless person : "There, but for the grace of God,go I."

Because it's true.

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