Turns out he killed his wife Sally and made it look like a drowning accident. His "friend" Deuces Moran, desperate to pay some gambling debts, tries to blackmail Clemm with this knowledge for some cash. Clemm has an episode and strangles him to death instead. Private detective The Tracer figures it out and tries to warn Clemm's wealthy fiance Patricia Frivar, who hired him to see if Clemm had other women.
But Tracer is too late, Clemm shoved Frivar overboard on their honeymoon cruise to Buenos Aires, claiming she fell overboard while he was asleep. Clemm narrowly escapes conviction, moves, grows a mustache, and changes his name to Erik Blaine. When The Tracer sees Blaine's photo in the paper announcing his engagement to socialite Isabel La Torre, he springs into action, determined to save Ms. La Torre. He succeeds, but Blaine/Clemm gets away. Clemm goes back to his house and plays the piano while his house burns around him, and perishes.