Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Life and Death of "Our Gang's" Alfalfa

Who was Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer?

Hollywood has had no shortage of sordid scandals or murder mysteries. The macabre fascination of the general public can hinder criminal investigations. Facts often remain hidden behind headlines, and gossip quickly fills the airwaves. Taking into consideration this environment, the magnitude of unsolved cases in Hollywood should come as no surprise to anyone. The search for truth about Alfalfa or Carl Switzer can easily become bogged down and the case eventually becomes another Glittertown legend. 

Alfalfa, first Little Rascals, 1934
Alfalfa, first Little Rascals,
1934

Of these cases, one is seldom mentioned and is virtually unknown to younger generations. With the passing of so many years, few seem to remember the death of Carl Switzer, who was best known during the 1930s and '40s for his portrayal of the youthful, freckle-faced Alfalfa character of the Our Gang comedy series. His early stardom jarred his entire life. His childhood on and off the set was adventuresome and gainful, but in later years took a downward spiral.

Was Switzer murdered in cold blood? Or was Carl Switzer's death justifiable? The answer depends on whose version of events you believe. We may never know.

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