In the story ""Killings"" Dubus shows the pain that a father and mother have to endure through their life due to the murder of their youngest son. Matt and Ruth, Franks parents, did not bury him because of an accidental death but because Frank was murdered. Matt then decides that Ruth and he have suffered long enough and decides to take matters into his own hands.
Frank had fallen in love with Mary Ann who was in the process of divorcing her husband Richard Strout. Ruth did not like knowing that Frank was seeing Mary Ann because she had two boys, and she had not been divorced yet. Another problem that bothered her was the fact that Mary Ann was four years older than Frank. Ruth had also heard that the marriage had gone bad early on in their relationship. The story then goes on to tell you that Mary Ann and Richard had been messing around with other people. The way Ruth felt about Frank and Mary Ann's relationship shows her view on what she feels is right. You can relate to the way Ruth feels because seeing people while they are still married is morally incorrect. Frank should not have started a relationship with a woman that was not yet legally single. It was as if he had poured gasoline onto a fire. Matt understood where his wife was coming from, but also saw that Frank was in love. You can see that Matt was concerned with what his son was doing, but he mainly wanted his son to be happy, and if being with Mary Ann made Frank happy then he would support his son.
That fatal night Richard came to pick up his boys as usual but with one exception. Dubus showed how Richard was a cold-blooded murderer by the details that are given, "Richard Strout shot Frank in front of the boys. They were sitting on the living room floor watching television, Frank sitting on the couch, and Mary Ann just returning from the kitchen with a tray of sandwiches. Strout came in the front door and shot Frank twice in the chest and once in the face with a 9mm automatic.