Six years and fifty weeks ago David Dobson and his partner, Morley Clayton, SCUBA dive in Lake Tahoe’s Crystal Bay. Suddenly Dobson clutches his chest, pushes his mouthpiece from his lips, and starts to sink. Morley tries to reach David, but he sinks to the bottom sixteen hundred feet below.
Now David’s wife, Michelle, has untreatable brain cancer. She is delivered to the Desert Hills Hospice in Beatty, Nevada, to die. Her speech is gibberish. She rambles about Jupiter and Saturn and repeatedly says, My husband killed my husband.
Sheriff Ray Waters visits Michelle and listens to her. He calls the Jupiter-Saturn Insurance Corporation and learns a Las Vegas attorney, William Harbison, has paid the premiums on a five million dollar life insurance policy ever since Dobson disappeared. In two weeks Harbison can have Dobson declared legally dead and claim the five million dollars.
Private investigator Dan Ballantine visits Michelle, and then searches unsuccessfully for a possible second husband. Attorney Harbison, at Dan’s gun point questions, admits Michelle has a son, Ted, a Reno college student.
Ballantine talks with Ted and then hires ex-SEAL Deak Deakins to search for David Dobson’s corpse in the deepest part of Lake Tahoe.
With a five million dollar life insurance pay off check on its way to Las Vegas, a SCUBA diver on a Sea-Doo sabotages Deak’s Remotely Operated Vehicle. Then he waits in the clear, cold water with his spear gun at the ready for the SEAL to dive to his expensive machine.