A drunken brawl at a local watering hole culminates in the stabbing death of bar regular J.W. Fuller. Det. Rod Demery finds a curious clue in the victim's breast pocket, leading him on a search for a mystery woman with a leopard print dress.
Friends discover the lifeless body of good-natured Vietnam vet Drexelle McBride in the driver's seat of his white van. Leads are scarce, until Demery charts the victim's final hours and learns of a chance meeting gone terribly awry.
An abandoned car belonging to missing sailor Nicholas Cox turns up in a parking lot. Inside, Demery uncovers a grisly cache of blood evidence, but no Cox. In order to find justice for his fallen brother-in-arms, Demery must first locate his body.
When two young children bear witness to the gruesome murder of their mother, Demery makes it his personal mission to bring the killer to justice. He quickly zeroes in on two suspects, but can't escape the feeling that he's barking up the wrong tree.