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PART 35: State Justice Department Stalls Murder Case Arrests

There are new developments in a Rancho Mirage cold case murder investigation. The Riverside County Sheriff’s cold case squad are investigating the murder of 3 people in 1981 now called “The Octopus Murders.”

News Channel 3 first broke news of this investigation last year and has since won an Emmy award for investigative reporting.

We’re learning the case is now in the hands of the California Department of Justice because there is a conflict of interest within our local law enforcement departments trying to crack this case.

Despite having suspects in this murder, the state Justice Department is inexplicably stalling this case, upsetting the victim’s family members.

On July 1, 1981, Fred Alvarez, his girlfriend Patty Castro and friend Ralph Boger were shot to death “execution style” at a home on Bob Hope Drive in Rancho Mirage.

Cabazon Band of Mission Indians Vice Chairman Fred Alvarez was going to blow the whistle on weapons deals between the tribe, Wackenhut Security and Meridian Arms Company, owned by businessman Robert Booth Nichols. The deal was for the tribe to manufacture heavy weaponry on their land in order to sell to developing nations worldwide.

The triple murder case was reopened last year by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

A cold case detective writes in a recent email he “doesn’t want to continue on the case based on the number of people who have met an untimely demise while doing so.”

Those people include investigative reporter Danny Casolaro, who died in 1991 in mysterious circumstances.

News Channel 3 was called by Riverside County Assistant Sheriff Craig Kilday several months ago, asking us not to reveal what we knew of the department’s main suspects in the case.

News Channel 3 is still honoring the Sheriff’s Department request for now. We will not reveal who the department suspects, but the fact of the matter is, it’s out of their hands now.

The California Department of Justice is now in charge. They come in when there’s a conflict of interest in local law enforcement. We’ve contacted Deputy District Attorney Michael Murphy for answers. He’s taking the lead on this case out of their San Diego office. He wouldn’t respond.

One local detective states he “feels like Alice in Wonderland going down the rabbit hole” and he “no longer has a complete grasp on the real world.”

This leaves the victim’s family members frustrated.

Rachel Begley, daughter of murder victim Ralph Boger says, “I think, morally, I can’t let this drop. I feel that my Dad, Fred, Patty and all these other people murdered in this, they deserve some justice. If it takes one person to try and bring that about, then so be it.”

Coming up later this week, we are following the money. What secret did those murder victims die for? Our trail leads to Robert Booth Nichols, a man connected to many recent financial scandals.

And we’re still working to confirm the information we’ve received on the conflict of interest within Riverside County’s law enforcement community forcing the state Department of Justice to take over this case.

Rachel Begley has written a full account of her search for her father’s murderer at

KESQ News Team


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