After escaping from prison, wrongfully convicted James Lake is picked-up on the highway by a car driven by wealthy Leslie Whitlock. Whitlock knows the description of the fugitive prison inmate from the news bulletins from his car radio. He suspects that his passenger is the escapee but has a diabolic plan in mind. He intends to have his rich wife murdered in order to inherit her wealth but needs a patsy to take the blame. Therefore, he offers Lake ten thousand dollars to kill his wife. Lake, who is not a hardened criminal, refuses but he is blackmailed into accepting the contract by Whitlock who threatens to hand him to the police. Whitlock suggests Lake strangle his wife, take the contract money and escape into Mexico. At the mansion, Whitlock introduces Lake to his wife as a hitchhiker who should be lodged for the night due to bad weather. Ellen, the unsuspecting wife of Leslie Whitlock, offers Lake the guest room for the night. However, the police is already combing the neighborhoods and warning the residents about Lake's escape from prison. Furthermore, his escape has been quickly published in the evening newspapers. Lake's chances of escaping his predicament seem slim.