In an introduction three events are described (by an uncredited Ricky Jay) showing coincidences. The events, which are well-known urban legends in the universe of the film, are as follows:
1. Sir Edmund William Godfrey, a resident of Greenberry Hill, London, is murdered outside his pharmacy by three vagrants by the names Joseph Green, Stanley Berry, and Daniel Hill. This was based on the murder of Edmund Berry Godfrey.
2. A blackjack dealer, Delmer Darion, while scuba diving is accidentally picked up by a fire fighting airplane scooping water to put out a forest fire, and dies of a heart attack during the flight. The pilot of the plane, Craig Hansen, had met Darion a few days prior at the latter's casino, starting a fight with him after losing a hand of blackjack. The guilt and the measure of coincidence provokes the pilot to commit suicide.
3. A 17-year-old boy, Sydney Barringer, attempts suicide by jumping off the roof of his apartment building; this attempt became a "successful homicide" when he was accidentally shot by his mother as he fell past his own apartment window. His parents regularly argued and threatened each other with a shotgun that was normally kept unloaded. Unbeknownst to them, Sydney had loaded the gun a few days earlier hoping they would make good on their threats to kill one another. As a result, he unwittingly became an accomplice in his own murder. The irony is that a newly installed protective netting for window washers on the building's exterior below their apartment, would have saved his life if he had not been hit by the shotgun blast that he himself had loaded.
Forthright police officer Jim Kurring (John C. Reilly) is called to investigate a disturbance at the home of a woman named Marcie (Cleo King). He finds a body in her closet, but when the other police officers arrive they pay little attention to his report on the situation. A young boy, Dixon (Emmanuel Johnson) offers to help Jim with the case by performing a...