Motive for Cabazon leader's 1981 murder an unknown
Fred Alvarez and two friends were murdered in the summer of 1981 and a man has been charged with their murders. But no one really knows why the vice chairman of the Cabazon Band of Mission Indiansof California was killed.

Some say Alvarez was going to expose John Philip Nichols, a financial advisers, for allegedly stealing from the tribe's casino. Others believe he Alvarez knew of a top-secret weapons deal that involved the tribe.

Whatever the reason, authorities say Nichols hired James “Jimmy” Hughes, who was a security guard for the tribe, to kill Alvarez and his friends. Their bodies were found at Alvarez's house on July 1, 1981.

Hughes has since been charged with three counts of murder and a count of conspiracy. Nichols died in 2001 but is named as a co-conspirator in the indictment.

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Arrest in 1981 tribal murders revives old mystery (AP 1/22)

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