Fred Alverez: How Did He Die? Who Killed Him?

Image Credit: American Conspiracy: The Octopus Murders

Netflix’s ‘American Conspiracy: The Octopus Murders’ uncovers one of the biggest conspiracies in the history of the nation through the story of an investigative journalist named Danny Casolaro, who got himself killed in his hotel room when he got too close to the truth. Attempting to unravel the limbs of the conspiracy theory known as the Octopus, the show takes the support of the people directly or indirectly linked to the conspiracy during the 1980s. One of the key parts of the entire case was Fred Alvarez, who was put away permanently when he found out the truth about some portion of the conspiracy.

Fred Alverez Was Found Dead In His Backyard

Born around 1950 in Susanville, California, to Phyllis and Leroy Alvarez, Alfred M. “Fred” Alvarez grew up in the loving and caring company of his parents and his sister Linda Alvarez. Father of a son named Michael James Alvarez, Fred resided in Rancho Mirage at the time of his death and was serving as the tribal vice president with the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians and also a key member of the tribal council. Fred, aged 32, was supposed to meet up with a lawyer to discuss something huge on July 1, 1981.

Image Credit: American Conspiracy: The Octopus Murders

However, when a couple of his acquaintances — Joe Benitez and Bill Calloway — arrived at his Indio residence to pick him up for the meeting with the lawyer on the same morning, they found Fred dead along with his two best friends, Patricia R. Castro and Ralph A. Boger, in the backyard of his house. Each of them had died of a gunshot wound from a .357 Magnum at close range, straight to their heads. Soon, the police took over the crime scene and began delving deep into the case in an attempt to find out the identity of the perpetrator/s. They believed that they had been shot to death two days before.

No One Has Been Convicted of Fred Alverez’s Murder

In the weeks leading to the death of Fred Alvarez, he had started noticing that Dr. John P. Nichols was failing to deliver what he promised — bringing profit to the tribe by establishing businesses, buildings, hotels, airports, and a casino. After installing a smoke shop and a casino in the area, there was no sign of profits and things weren’t looking bright for the community as they were in thousands of dollars of debt. Thus, Fred complained about the situation and blamed Nichols for skimming away the money that belonged to them. According to him, the smoke shop and casino were a part of Nichols’ family business that was kept hidden behind the name of the community.

To put up a fight against this injustice, Fred got in touch with an attorney and began collecting evidence to support his controversial claims. In order to do that, he broke into the tribal office and stole files from the filing cabinets. But in the process, he ended up uncovering something even more shocking. Apparently, Nichols had been working with Wackenhut — one of the world’s largest security companies. The plan was a collaboration between Cabazon and Wakenhut as they were going to set up an entity dedicated to the production of combustible cartridge cases. Since it was a sovereign land, it allowed for Nichols’ secret plan’s protection. Not only that, but Fred allegedly also discovered Nichols’ plans to manufacture toxic chemical and biological weapons.

Following the revelation, Fred paid a visit to the local newspaper and told them that he had uncovered something so huge that it could get him killed. He also arranged a meeting with the attorney, now that he had enough evidence against Nichols. However, he never made it to the meeting as he was shot to death right before the important meeting. But a few days before his demise, his motorcycle was reportedly tampered with, his mailbox was shot up, and his house was ransacked. The investigation into Fred’s murder went on for just a short amount of time before shutting down abruptly.

After decades of being a cold case, the police believed that the unsolved murder of Fred and his two friends was orchestrated by a tribal casino director, financial adviser, and various others to keep their illegal activities a secret from the rest of the world. Soon, they arrested the prime suspect James “Jimmy” Hughes, the founder of a Miami-based Jimmy Hughes Ministries, in September 2009 at Miami International Airport for being the alleged hired hitman to carry out the killing of Fred, Patricia, and Ralph.

However, upon reviewing all the details just prior to the trial, prosecutors ended up losing confidence in their evidence and decided to drop the case altogether. Rachel Begley, Ralph’s daughter, even stood up in court and addressed Jimmy, “I hope that your short time in jail has given you time to repent. I will not give up seeking the truth and justice for my dad, Fred and Patty.” With the trial interrupted, there were no new charges found against James “Jimmy” Hughes.

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