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'Our Gang' Carl Alfalfa Switzer’s Life Was Taken during Justifiable Homicide Episode Witnessed by 3 Kids

Busayo Ogunjimi
Aug 29, 2021
09:00 A.M.
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Carl Alfalfa Switzer, the child star actor, Alfalfa in "Our Gang" did not live until his old age. His life was cut short during a justifiable homicide episode, and three kids witnessed the tragedy.

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Carla Alfalfa Switzer was the young and intelligent child star actor, with freckles on his face and wide eyes, who began acting in 1933 and starred in comedies like "Our Gang," "Reg'lar Fellers," and "The Little Rascals."

Switzer, AKA Alfalfa, was the most successful and loved member of "Our Gang," the comedy series that provide its viewers with funny and witty young rascals.

Portrait of Carl Switzer as Alfalfa for "The Little Rascals" series, originally know as "Our Gang" dated January 1, 1936 | Photo: Getty Images

Portrait of Carl Switzer as Alfalfa for "The Little Rascals" series, originally know as "Our Gang" dated January 1, 1936 | Photo: Getty Images

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HIS ADULT LIFE

After the childhood glory fizzled out, Switzer got nothing but minor roles in works like "Going My Way," "High and the Mighty," and "Dig That Uranium." During his spare time, he took on odd jobs like bartending and acting as a hunting guide

While he acted in films, Switzer considered settling down. So he married Diane Collingwood. Their marriage did not last for more than four months, but they had a child. After the failed marriage, the father of one turned to alcohol abuse, and often ran into trouble with law enforcement.

Portrait of Carl Switzer as Alfalfa for "The Little Rascals" series, originally know as "Our Gang" dated January 1, 1936 | Photo: Getty Images

Portrait of Carl Switzer as Alfalfa for "The Little Rascals" series, originally know as "Our Gang" dated January 1, 1936 | Photo: Getty Images

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THE TRAGIC END OF A CHILD STAR

Sadly, Switzer met his untimely end in 1959, at age 31. Some detectives investigated the death, and confirmed that hours before the tragic news, the actor went to visit a friend named Moses Samuel Stiltz.

He had been training a hunting dog for Stiltz, but the creature went missing, leaving Switzer to put up a $35 reward for whoever found the dog.

Portrait of Carl Switzer as Alfalfa for "The Little Rascals" series, originally know as "Our Gang" dated December 5, 1936 | Photo: Getty Images

Portrait of Carl Switzer as Alfalfa for "The Little Rascals" series, originally know as "Our Gang" dated December 5, 1936 | Photo: Getty Images

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A man returned the dog and was gifted $35 cash and $15 worth of drinks. The dog trainer then visited Stiltz to request $50.

A report from Stilz recorded that he and the "Our Gang" alum became involved in an argument that degenerated into violence. As a result, the deceased hit his friend with a clock on the head, which pushed the man to fire a gun harmlessly.

Carl Switzer (left) as Alfalfa and George McFarland as Spanky in the 1938 film Canned Fishing | Photo: Getty Images

Carl Switzer (left) as Alfalfa and George McFarland as Spanky in the 1938 film Canned Fishing | Photo: Getty Images

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Then Switzer drew a knife leaving Stilz with no option but to retaliate, this time, by shooting the actor in his abdomen. The deadly argument was witnessed by three children and their mother, one Mrs. Rita Jane Corrigan.

Although Switzer was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival, this news shook those familiar with the deceased. His friend, and fellow child star, George MeFarland, admitted that it was an unbelievable incident.

Carl Switzer as Alfalfa, George McFarland as Spanky and Tommy Bond as Butch in "Glove Taps," an episode of "Our Gang" comedy later known as "The Little Rascals" which aired on February 20, 1937 | Photo: Getty Images

Carl Switzer as Alfalfa, George McFarland as Spanky and Tommy Bond as Butch in "Glove Taps," an episode of "Our Gang" comedy later known as "The Little Rascals" which aired on February 20, 1937 | Photo: Getty Images

WITNESSES ACCOUNTS

Jack Piott, who accompanied the actor, corroborated Stiltz's story, and years later, a Tom Corrigan claimed that he was a witness. He shared a similar account of the story, adding that Switzer was drunk the whole time and threatened his friend.

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