This event is recalled in chapter 6. Krakauer interviews Ronald Franz about his relationship with MCandless. Ron tells him that he became extremely close to the young man, even asking to adopt him (a suggestion which McCandless tactically avoided).
He had been devastated to hear of McCandless’ death, and was expectedly wary of Krakauer, who was investigating and questioning him closely.
The eighty year old man is staunch and cautious around the author. It is when examining the photographs of McCandless’ belongings inside the broken down down bus where his body was found that upsets Ron-
…as soon as Franz realises what he’s seeing, his eyes mist over; he thrusts the photos back at me without examining the rest, and the old man walks away to compose himself as I mumble a lame apology. (p60)