Richard Strout is the true killer of this story. This man walks through the “front door” (Dubus 107) of his ex-wife’s house and proceeds in shooting Frank “twice in the chest and once in the face with a nine millimeter automatic” (107). Standing over the blood spattered couch he shifts his eyes from the brainy chaos, which was a man’s face just seconds before, to the children that are sitting on that same couch. He then looks at the mother of those children, his children. She is not looking at the killer, rather she is intently staring at her babies who are covered with the remnants of the man they have recently begun to call dad. And how does the executioner react to this entire scene? He “went home to wait for the police” (107). He waits for the police as though he just stole a loaf of Wonder Bread at the dollar store. This man is cold, grey and calculating. He goes home to wait because he knows what he has done, he lives in it, accepts it. Matt and Ruth, Frank’s parents, will never accept the cold blooded murder of their son.
It is pure torture for a mother or father to see the man that took away from them, something that can never be returned, their child. “He walks the goddamn streets,” (103) Matt says. Matt did not think that the justice system would release a man like this on bail. This murderer is now tending to his daily routines without a care in the world, while the victims of his injustice helplessly watch. They watch as the killer of their child is shopping at a local grocery store; Buying skirt steak and quart of two percent milk while they wait in line to buy flowers for their dead son’s tombstone. Watch as that same man, who has shattered a mothers bond, is enjoying a Saturday afternoon at a local barbershop for his weekly high and tight haircut. “It’s killing her,” said Matt. Dubus writes “she can’t even go out for cigarettes and aspirin” (103) without seeing him. Not only has he killed their child, he is now killing them indirectly....
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