Hazel Aiken (Carroll Baker) is a Queens housewife and hairdresser who runs an electrolysis parlor in her home. Hazel shares a home with her sister-in-law and infant child and flicks lit cigarettes at her ineffectual husband. She makes extra money by operating a dirty deeds service, connecting clients with sociopaths who perform the jobs. Hazel only hires women, but when one of them can't do a high paying job, she agrees to interview a drifter L.T. (Perry King) recommended by one of the girls.
Hazel also receives unwanted attention from Detective Hughes (Charles McGregor), a corrupt cop who wants her to surrender one of her employees so he can make an arrest. Hazel's female employees like P. G. and R.C. wander in and out of the house and occasionally torture her sister-in-law with mean comments about her weight and absent husband. L.T. delights in this and does nothing to prevent it. When it comes time for L.T. to do his job, which is to smother an autistic child in his bedroom while the knowing parents pretend to sleep, things do not go according to plan.
L.T. becomes frustrated when the kid does not respond to him and stares inert into space. Feeling sympathy for the child, he brings him to the parents' bedroom and yells, "Do it yourself!" When he returns to Hazel's to explain that he did not do the job, Hazel calls him "sensitive" and demands her rent money. Detective Hughes is also in the house, to Hazel's surprise, and they argue over their agreement. Hazel calls Hughes a racial epithet, which enrages him and he drowns her to death in the kitchen sink. The sister-in-law walks into the kitchen and dispassionately takes Hazel's key to the dial phone's lock and unlocks it.
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