"In the late 1800s, the city of Austin, Texas was on the cusp of emerging from an isolated western outpost into a truly cosmopolitan metropolis. But beginning in December 1884, Austin was terrorized by someone equally as vicious and, in some ways, far more diabolical than London's infamous Jack the Ripper. For almost exactly one year, the Midnight Assassin crisscrossed the entire city, striking on moonlit nights, using axes, knives and long steel...
In Carthage, TX, assistant funeral director Bernie Tiede is one of the town's most beloved residents. He sings in the church choir and is always willing to lend a helping hand. He befriends an affluent widow, and she soon becomes dependent on Bernie. Later it is reported that Marjorie Nugent has been dead for some time, and Bernie Tiede is charged with the murder.