Smith bigamously married at least 7 women between 1908 and 1915, stealing their belongings before vanishing. His first victim was Bessie Mundy a wealthy spinster who Smith married after a brief romance. Smith remarried and carried out further murders with each wife being drowned in her bath. Eventually apprehended by the Police, and with only circumstantial evidence linking the murders, Smith was sent for trial. Barrister Edward Marshall-Hall (Richard Griffiths) defended Smith at his trial in 1915 where he was accused of murdering his 'wife' Bessie Mundy. The Judge, apparently convinced of Smith's guilt, broke legal precedent and allowed evidence from other murders Smith was accused of committing. At the chilling climax to the film a mysterious woman who attended Smith's trial offered a deadly insight into his mind set and the title of the book that Smith had been writing whilst committing his crimes, was finally revealed.