Dartmouth professor Dan Jackson did not want to murder his students. Yet, when he finds two pistols perched on top of the mid-term exams in his briefcase, he cannot resist the impulse to pull out the guns and start shooting. Now Dan struggles to find the answer to the question that haunts him: why did he kill 15 of his students? Dan’s search for the answer must be pursued through his defense to the criminal charges and possible death penalty.
However, his grizzled, pony-tailed lawyer does not want to know why Dan shot his students - he wants to use Dan's ignorance as the basis for an insanity defense. That defense opens the door for prosecution and defense psychiatrists to probe for the answer in Dan’s troubled past, with seemingly inconclusive results. Dan still holds out hope that the answer will be revealed during a trial that is filled with surprise testimony and withering cross-examinations. But if the answer is discovered, will it provide Dan with the solace he desires?