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Bureau of Missing Persons

Bureau of Missing Persons(1933)

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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Police captain Webb is given the department's most difficult missing persons cases to handle. Butch Saunders, one of his staff, has been transferred to Missing Persons because of excessive brutality on his previous assignment. Periodically, his estranged wife Belle makes his life miserable with requests for money. After Saunders successfully finds a missing child prodigy who ran away in an effort to have a normal child's life, he is assigned to find Norma Roberts' missing husband, Therme. Butch is attracted to Norma, in spite of the fact that they are both married, so when Webb tells him that she is really Norma Phillips, and is wanted for the murder of Chicago banker Roberts, Butch doesn't believe the story could be true. Norma talks Butch out of taking her in, but when he returns to her hotel to hear her side of the story, she has disappeared. The police find some of her clothes and her handbag on the dock, but Butch is sure that Norma didn't commit suicide and he stages a fake funeral designed to lure her from hiding. Just as he had hoped, she cannot resist the chance to see her own corpse, and she attends the funeral, as does Roberts. With Butch in close pursuit, Norma runs after Roberts. She tells Butch that when she was Roberts' private secretary, she found out he had an mentally disturbed twin brother. He killed the brother, making it look like he himself was dead in order to escape embezzlement charges. Roberts denies her accusations, but Butch takes him in to the Bureau anyway, where Webb tricks him into admitting the truth. Norma is cleared and Butch discovers that Belle was never divorced from her first husband, so they are free to be with each other.