As the Clarke County Coroner Mike Murphy's office deals with all the deaths that happen in the city of Las Vegas. One aspect he has to look at is suicides; the city has one of the highest rate of suicides anywhere in the US. Studies have suggested that a high percentage of these deaths are by people who've chosen to travel to Las Vegas specifically to take their life, although roughly only one in three leave some kind of note as to why they've chosen to end their lives. With the recession that hit towards the end of the first decade of 21st Century, homicide suicides also rose sharply, a situation where someone will take the life of loved ones and family before taking their own. This has been linked to the high foreclosure rates and general economic downturn
Posing the simple question to their subjects: 'What does Las Vegas mean to you?' photographers Adam Patterson and Greg Funnell collaborated on a project that sought to discover if the American Dream was still a plausible notion. They choose Las Vegas as their microcosm as there they found the extremes of western capitalism. It is a 24 hour city that sees 150,000 people pass through its airport every day on their way to sample its proffered pleasures: gaming, entertainment and hospitality. However, in contrast to its bright lights there exists a shadow city that is the ninth most dangerous in America (31st largest by population) and has had the country's highest unemployment rates since 2008. With this in mind the two photographers asked: 'Does America still dare to hope?'