In Carthage, Texas, assistant funeral director Bernhardt "Bernie" Tiede is a nice guy who loves his work. He gives assistance to the old widows and they adore him. Marjorie Nugent is a millionaire hated by her relatives, with no friends and the only person in town who cares for her is her stockbroker Lloyd Hornbuckle. When Marjorie loses her husband, Bernie becomes close to the widow and soon he becomes her companion. She includes Bernie in her bank accounts and investments and they travel together in expensive vacations. One day, Bernie shots her four times on the back, hides her body in a freezer and spends her money, giving donation to the church and expensive gifts to the locals. Nine months later, Lloyd finally gets a warrant and goes with Sheriff Huckabee and D.A. Danny Buck to Marjorie's house and they find the body. But Danny has difficulties to judge Bernie locally since the population worships him.