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Recalling the events that led to his imprisonment, tap dancer Tom J. Quinn thinks back to the hot July night when he and his wife Ann, a dance instructor, were unable to fall asleep: Irritated by the sound of screeching cats, Tom tries to scare the cats away by throwing his only pair of tap dancing shoes out the window. When Tom goes downstairs to retrieve his shoes, he is unable to find them. The following morning, Ann finds the shoes in the apartment hallway, just outside their door, and wonders how they got there. Later that day, police discover the murdered body of wealthy recluse Otis Wantner in a shed near Tom's building. Footprints found on the dead body lead the police to conclude that the killer was a tall dancer, and a team of detectives, led by Inspector Clint Judd, begin a full investigation. Tom later finds a billfold containing $2,000, and when he tells Ann that he intends to turn it over to the police, she urges him to keep the money for a week to see if the loss is reported in the newspapers. The police investigators eventually come to suspect Tom when they match the footprint found on the murdered man with one at the shop where Tom bought his shoes. Instead of arresting Tom right away, Judd waits, hoping that Tom will lead them to the $2,000 that was stolen from Wantner. The detectives finally arrest Tom and Ann when they witness Tom purchase an expensive gift for his wife. During the police interrogation, Tom professes his innocence and refuses to divulge the location of the hidden money. In the hopes that Ann will lead them to the money, the police release her and assign a detective to follow her. Tom is eventually charged with murder and robbery, and faces execution. On the basis of the shoeprint evidence, Tom is convicted and sentenced to die in the electric chair. A week before Tom's scheduled execution, Judd, who is romantically obsessed with Ann, offers to help her win the release of her husband. Judd reopens the case and charges John L. Kosloff, a former boarder at Ann and Tom's rooming house, with the murder. Kosloff, however, is released after providing the police with an airtight alibi. As he recalls his last meeting with Ann, Tom comes out of his reverie and prepares for his execution. Ann, meanwhile, begins to suspect that Judd is the killer when he professes his love for her and tells her that he has bought an expensive apartment for her. Moments before Tom's scheduled execution, Judd tells Ann about his long-standing obsession with her, and she tricks him into confessing that he framed Tom in order to be with her. The police investigators, to whom Ann had earlier reported her suspicions, arrive in time to overhear Judd's confession. Judd reaches for his gun when the police try to arrest him and is shot. Tom is exonerated and, after winning his release from prison, is reunited with Ann.