Bank robber Cornel Wilde, after being wounded by a bullet, seeks shelter with his gang at his brother's mountain retreat. There he rekindles his romance with his brother's wife, and reconnects with the boy he believes is his son.
Lamont Cranston assumes his secret identity as "The Shadow", to break up an attempted robbery at an attorney's office. When the police search the scene, Cranston must assume the identity of the attorney. Before he can leave, a phone call summons the attorney to the home of Delthern, a wealthy client, who wants a new will drawn up. As Cranston meets with him, Delthern is suddenly shot, and Cranston is quickly caught up in a new mystery.
Carl Martin is a morose and deranged Los Angeles gardener, who,in retribution for the infidelity of his unfaithful wife, sets about to kill as many blonde's as he can. From the time the film opens, to the sound of a radio turned up full-blast over the still-warm corpse of a blonde, the audience knows the identity of the killer. The film depicts, with documentary realism as it was shot on location in and around Los Angeles, how the police, using laboratory techniques against the few clues they have, track down Martin. Their key clue is a spring from a pair of garden shears. The police move in just as Martin is about to add Jane Saunders, the daughter of a greenhouse owner, to his long list of victims.