In the story "Killings," Matt and Ruth's son—Frank—has been murdered by Richard.
Frank was twenty-one and dating Richard's soon-to-be ex-wife. Richard is known for having a terrible temper. One night Richard confronts Frank as he is leaving Mary Ann (Richard's wife), and shoots him twice not only in front of Mary Ann, but in front of their two sons.
Richard is released on bail. Matt and Ruth struggle deeply with their loss, and with the fact that their son's murderer is allowed to freely roam around town.
Willis is a friend of Matt's, who owns several restaurants in town. When Matt and Willis get together, they agree that they cannot tolerate what Richard has done, that there are people who commit murder and get away with it, and they agree that together they will shoot Richard and bury his body where no one will find it.
The men carry out their plan, pretending they are helping Richard to leave town in order to start over, however, they drive over the border into New Hampshire, even while Richard tries to rationalize his reasons for killing Frank. They stop in a wooded area, and when Richard tries to run, Matt shoots him twice, killing him. They then bury the body and return home.
When Matt goes into the house, his wife is awake. Ruth asks him, point blank, if the did it. Matt describes the evening, and they agree that they can never tell their other children. The story ends as Ruth tries to comfort Matt.