A prosecuting attorney treats every homicide case as first degree murder and uses miniature replicas of human skulls to tally the death sentences that he garners. Then he himself is beset by the urge to murder.
An actor is killed during the performance of a play and critic Tony Woolrich (Dave O’Brien) undertakes to solve the crime. Claudia Moore (Kay Aldridge, in her last movie role), the girl he loves, is suspected, but when two more deaths occur, she is also threatened by the Phantom Killer.
Thelma Jordon (Barbara Stanwyck) falls for a jewel thief and helps him steal her aunts jewelry. She ends up shooting her formerly-rich aunt but makes it look like an outside job. The D.A. falls in love with her and gets her off. From there things go badly.
This film noir tells the story of Jeff Cohalan (Robert Young). He’s a successful architect who is tormented by the fact that his fiancée was killed in a mysterious car accident on the night before their wedding.