Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Based on a novel by Frederick Nebel (of "Torchy Blane" fame), Sleepers East is largely set on a train bound for New York. The plot is set in motion by the murder trial of a man accused of killing a politician. The defendant intended to pull the trigger, but the murder was actually committed by someone else. The DA, however, isn't interested in facts: He's been ordered by the local political machine to railroad the defendant into the electric chair. The only person who can clear the poor fellow is witness Lena Karelson (Wynne Gibson), an ex-convict who is being transported to New York by train under an assumed name to prevent her death at the hands of hired gunmen. Unhappy at being a political pawn, Lena tries to escape from her bodyguards in the company of man-with-a-past Jason Everett (Preston S. Foster). She gets her chance during a train wreck, but ultimately realizes that unless she shows up to testify, she will never be able to live with herself. Sleepers East was remade in 1941 as the "Michael Shayne" series entry Sleepers West.
accusation, false-accusation, killing, murder, witness