One by one members of a parole board are being murdered. On the assumption that the remaining ones will be next, Ironside goes undercover and pretends to be an artist, whom he finds to be an eccentric and irascible man.
A highly impressionable 9-year-old-girl (Jodie Foster) thinks she has cast a spell which caused a mean man to fall and suffer a fatal skull fracture. She is even more upset when a huge, bald, man with severe mental problems (Lee Paul) says he shoved the victim to the ground because 'he made me mad'. Ironside and his team work to prove that neither the girl or the bald man killed the victim - and he finds that someone came upon the victim after he fell and finished him off with a blow from a blunt instrument.
Ironside is on the trail of mysterious, illusive high level heroin dealer while trying to discover the reasons for an apparent urgent, clandestine visit from an old friend and discovers that there might be a link between two investigations.
While in Los Angeles to testify for a trial against gangster Frank Harmon, Ed is shot and falls off the balcony of his hotel room. He is then taken to the Craig Institute where he undergoes emergency surgery. Although the bullet wounds were non-life threatening, Ed suffers a broken back in the fall and some damage to his spine. The scarring leaves him paralyzed and only an experimental surgical procedure is the only option to regaining his mobility. Also, even though all the evidence points to Harmon, Ironside has doubts that he was the person responsible for the ...
Mark finally graduates from law school. He takes an interest in a janitor from the school who finds himself in jail accused of grand theft. Meanwhile Ironside struggles with the reality that Mark may eventually leave for his new career.