Assigned to homicide detail, a woman has been brutally killed, and it’s up to Joe Friday to get her killer. Examining the church grounds where the woman was found, Joe observe all the clues. There isn’t much to identify the woman with, but which of the other clues will prove important? With the new case, it looks like Joe, and partner Ben Romero, will be giving up their Christmas plans.
Lab reports indicate that alcohol was involved. The first major lead comes when her fingerprints are on record as a former defense plant worker. The cops try to learn more about Maria from friends from her war defense days. A key found with the body hasn’t unlocked any doors in Maria Comacho’s old stomping grounds.
People along Maria’s path have only good things to say about her, but nobody knows what the key might be used for. Another break comes when a man has been picked up who may have been with Maria on her last night. His story rings true, but his boots reveal another possible source to find the killer.
Staking out a shoe shine stand, and checking out a soup kitchen, Joe and Ben may have found their man. All the pieces of the puzzle come together, including the lock the key fits into.