Las Vegas murders, city’s history focus of new TV shows | TV

The best and worst of Las Vegas history will be on display for the world to see starting this weekend with the debut of two documentary series.

First up, “Sin City Murders” (7 p.m. Sunday on Oxygen) promises a look at “the dark underbelly of evildoing transpiring on the glamorous Strip and in the vast desert surrounding it.”

Sunday’s premiere, “Vanishing of a Showgirl,” looks at the death of Debbie Flores Narvaez, a dancer in “Fantasy” at Luxor. The 31-year-old’s murder at the hands of a Cirque du Soleil dancer was the focus of the 2016 Lifetime movie “Death of a Vegas Showgirl.”

Future episodes will focus on Esmeralda Gonzalez, a 24-year-old woman whose body was found encased in a concrete and wooden structure in the desert about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, and aspiring rapper Mike Portaro, who was killed in 2011 outside Tenaya Creek Brewery. The cases covered in the series date back to at least 1983 and include the murder of entertainer Harry Wham, who owned the Keyboard Lounge.

On a lighter note, “Vegas: The Story of Sin City” (10 p.m. Sunday on CNN) takes a four-episode look at the rise of Las Vegas, with plenty of archival footage of casinos and showrooms that were reduced to rubble long ago.

It’s peppered with new interviews with the likes of entertainers Wayne Newton, Paul Anka, Rich Little and Sonny Charles and local historians, including David G. Schwartz, Michael Green and Claytee D. White of UNLV, the Mob Museum’s Geoff Schumacher and former Review-Journal entertainment writer Mike Weatherford.

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