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Apology for Murder

Apology for Murder(1945)

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Newspaper reporter Kenny Blake of the Daily Tribune attempts to interview businessman Harvey Kirkland about his planned merger with his old friend and rival, Craig Jordan, only to immediately fall for the businessman's young, extravagant wife Toni, who he believes is his daughter. Upon returning to the paper, Kenny is chastised by his editor, Ward McKee, for his failure to get the interview and his overt interest in Toni. Later, Kenny and Toni begin having an affair, but the reporter is shocked to learn that Toni is Kirkland's wife. Unwilling to divorce Kirkland because of his refusal to give her an appropriate settlement, Toni asks Kenny to help her kill Kirkland. Kenny initially refuses, but she later convinces him by lying that her husband is now planning to divorce her using perjured testimony. The two then plot to kill Kirkland during an upcoming trip to his mountain lodge. Toni telephones her husband, stating that her car has broken down on an isolated road near the lodge. When Kirkland comes to get her, Kenny kills the businessman, then the two lovers push Kirkland's car over a cliff in an attempt to make it look like an accident. As an ironic twist, Kenny is ordered by Ward to write a story about Kirkland's death, during which he learns that the police suspect murder, as the car's ignition key was off and it was not in gear. Jordan is later accused of the crime, as Jed, Kirkland's caretaker, overheard Jordan threaten to kill his old friend during a heated argument. After Jordan is convicted and sentenced to death, Ward decides to investigate the murder himself, and he questions Mrs. Harper, a rancher's wife, who tells him that she saw a stranger on the road the day Kirkland died. Meanwhile, Toni becomes upset when she learns that Kirkland has left the bulk of his estate to charity and decides to contest the will, which causes Kenny to question her love for him. Later, Jed tells Ward that he has found tire tracks and footprints to support Mrs. Harper's claim, all of which sustain Ward's suspicions that Toni and an unknown boyfriend are the real killers. Soon thereafter, Toni ends her relationship with Kenny and begins seeing her lawyer, Allen Webb. Jealous and guilt-ridden, Kenny breaks into Toni's house, and the two ex-lovers shoot each other, along with Allen. Before he dies, however, Kenny returns to the Daily Tribune , where he types out a full confession and hands it to Wade.