In a dark apartment, two men fight until one of them beats the other to death. Inspector Finlay finds out that the Jewish murder victim, Joseph Samuels, was last seen with three soldiers he met in a bar. One of the soldiers, Montgomery, shows up at the crime scene, looking for another soldier, Mitchell. Finlay interviews the missing man's best friend, Sergeant Keeley. Montgomery recounts the evening: he, Mitchell and another soldier, Bowers, had gone to a bar where Mitchell met Samuels. They all went to Samuels' apartment but Mitchell left early; Montgomery and Bowers left soon after. Thinking Mitchell might have returned to Samuels', Montgomery returned as well. Based on Montgomery's account, Finlay reveals to Keeley that Mitchell is the prime suspect.
At the soldiers' hotel, Finlay lies in wait for Mitchell. Keeley diverts the police and hides Mitchell. Mitchell tells Keely that he, Montgomery, Bowers and a fourth soldier named Leroi had gone to the bar. Montgomery insulted Leroi and Leroi left. Samuels befriended Mitchell and they went to his apartment to wait for Samuels' girlfriend to join them. Montgomery and Bowers came over and Montgomery started an argument with Samuels. Hung over, Mitchell left and met taxi dancer Ginny at a club. Ginny gave Mitchell the keys to her apartment to sleep off his hangover. Mitchell didn't see Ginny again because he left after talking with her husband/pimp.
Meanwhile, Montgomery has Bowers stashed away. Bowers is upset over Montgomery killing Samuels. Montgomery beats him up and then hangs him with his necktie. Keely is forced to reveal Mitchell's location to Finlay. Mrs. Mitchell, working on behalf of her husband, and Finlay talk with Ginny and her husband, but fail to confirm Mitchell's alibi. Finlay arrests Mitchell but suspects Montgomery as the true killer because of Montgomery's anti-Semitic statements. Finlay and Keeley persuade the fearful Leroi to lie to Montgomery. Leroi tells Montgomery that Bowers is alive and needs money from Montgomery to go away. Leroi gives Montgomery Bowers' address. Montgomery goes to the building where Bowers had been hiding earlier. Finlay confronts Montgomery with his guilt. Leroi had deliberately handed Montgomery the wrong address but Montgomery had come to the right place. Montgomery attempts to escape but is shot dead by Finlay.