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American Beauty, Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey)

Site Rating: 70%
(ratings: 2)
Writeup Rating: 70%
(ratings: 4)
Film: American Beauty (1999)
Deceased Character: Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey)
Archetype: Ambivalent (Major)
Killed by: Colonel Frank Fitts (Chris Cooper)
Killed with: Gun


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Written by Mr. Mouseburger 9th Feb 2006

Kindly submitted by Novus

After militaristic Col. Frank Fitts witnesses what he believes to be his son performing a homosexual act on middle-aged next-door neighbour Lester Burnham, Fitts confronts Burnham while he is working out in his garage. It is pouring rain outside Fittshas on a white shirt which is soaked. He is crying.

As Lester embraces Fitts in a fatherly way, he asks the Colonel what is wrong and if he can help. Without a word, the Colonel, presumably attempting to understand why his son is gay [I disagree, see below for my comment - OB], kisses Lester. Lester pushes him back and tells him he has the wrong idea, at which point Fitts leaves the garage.

Lester Burnham's marriage had fallen apart after he became despondent with his wife and their suburban lifestyle. We see his wife, Carol, in her car outside the house listening to a self-help audio tape, pulling her gun out of the glove box, saying to herself, "Lester, I refuse to be a victim!"

After resolving his obsession with his daughter's best friend, she asks him how he is. He tells her he's great. She leaves for the bathroom, and he smiles to himself, repeating, "I'm great." A gun barrel appears behind his head and the camera pans to a white wall. The shot rings out and the wall is covered with blood and brains.

In an ironic twist, Carol enters the kitchen where Lester was killed, gun in purse, and is surprised to find her husband has been killed. She collapses, crying.

In his home office, Colonel Frank Fitts's white shirt is covered with Lester's blood as he puts up his gun, telling us who killed Lester.



3 categories : Ironic, Head Shot, Offscreen Killing

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Other Death Reviews for American Beauty (1999)

Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey)

Last Updated: 2nd Jun 2008
Number of views for this review since 30th May 2008: 66826
This review has 55 comments. Reply to the comments
Comment 1 by 'old bluffer' (reply to this comment)
I have two problems with this review.
Firstly, I personally think the Colonel had some serious latent homesexuality issues of his own, which is why he was so homophobic in the first place. I don't think he kissed Lester as an experiment, I think he was genuinely jealous (and furious) of his son, and couldn't help himself. Afterwards, the shame and humiliation he felt was enough to doom his neighbour - if Lester was killed, nobody would ever know what had happened.

Secondly, I would be inclined to say Lester was Major Ambivalent. We feel sympathy with him throughout the film but I'm not sure he has enough admirable qualities to qualify as a "Goody".

OB
Comment 2 by 'Mr. Briggs Incorporated' (reply to this comment)
Great snakes-on-a-plane, this is complicated! Please make the conflict less vague, also try to better clarify which Fitz (actually spelled Fitts). you are speaking of.
:
After resolving his obsession with his daughter's best friend, Carol asks him how he is.
A bit mixed-up on pronouns and antecedents, better as; After Lester resolves his obsession with Angela, his daughter's best friend, his wife, Carolyn asks him how he is.
Comment 3 by 'jj' (reply to this comment)
Uh, no you're both wrong. It was Angela who asked him how he was.

And yes, Col Fitts was a flaming homosexual in serious denial.
Comment 4 by 'therealfitz' (reply to this comment)
Frank Fitz was not the killer! The power & velocity of a gun shot results in blood, skin & other body parts being sprayed in the same direction that the bullet was traveling. The shooter, even at close range, would not have the blood bath evident on Frank Fitz's t-shirt.

Was this just a technical mistake, or was someone else responsbile for the shooting?
Comment 5 by 'Bill' (reply to this comment)
Uh... yes, he was. Who else could it be?
Comment 6 by 'Kooshmeister' (reply to this comment)
Okay, so if Frank wasn't the one who shot Lester...where did all the blood on Frank's clothes come from, then? Technical error or not, the fact Frank is shown afterwards with blood on him is meant as a visual cue to let us know he was the killer.
Comment 7 by 'moviefanatic' (reply to this comment)
i dont think that frank killed lester - like the comment before the blood spray was wrong . I reckon the colonel killed his wife after realising that his marriage was just a cover up, "for show" as said before in the garage.

I think Sam Mendes intended the audience to not know who shot Lester - for all we know it could have been someone else e.g. buddy or "brad" from work..
Comment 8 by 'acelowry' (reply to this comment)
blood goes everywhere including some back towards the shooter
Comment 9 by 'chris' (reply to this comment)
When I saw Lesters wife with the gun I was getting pissed because i remembered the begging when he says he has less than a year to live. Frank is the killer if him because of the blood on the shirt and it showed his guns after Lesters tragic death. sad smiley It Pissed me off so much that he died. I think the movie could have been a little longer and showed what happened such as where Lesters daughter/wife went and what happens to frank and his son. I didn't really get why he didn't bag Angela but i think it was because she said she was a virgin? I was wishing lester lived and had a "more happy" life but that didn't happen... The movie was great though I would give it a 9.1 out of 10.
Comment 10 by 'Alex' (reply to this comment)
I agree and think that Fitz is NOT the killer. This would explain why the wife went up into the bedroom and attempted to hide the gun and her purse in the closet. I believe she killed Lester and immediately regretted it. Also, did anyone else remember Ricky saying something when he saw Lester dead on the table? Didn't he say something about his mother??
Comment 11 by 'Sora' (reply to this comment)
It was angela that asked him how he was and he said he never had been asked that before in a long time. I thought his wife shot him but after careful observation to understand who had killed him i took note that carolyn was walking up the patio when u hear the gunshot ring out. Notice the fence behind her as she walks up to the house? Anyway, i was paying more attention to Wes Bentley's backside. Fine, fine ass.
Comment 12 by 'Sora' (reply to this comment)
I reckon it could be fitts bt then again i did notice that he was wearing gloves so he could have been there getting the bullet out so evidence doesnt lead to him he did have a gun missing. Might have to examine that cabinet closely at the guns when rick shows jane the plate. Then again, i was more transfixed on Wes Bentley's toned backside! smiling smiley
Comment 13 by 'Jit' (reply to this comment)
No, it was lester than said his own life was just for cover up, not saying col. fitts life was
Comment 14 by 'Al' (reply to this comment)
There were too many opinions to read on the matter. The gun shooting Lester is the same in both Carolyn's purse and Frank's gun rack (may be mistaken). But, someone said Carolyn walked into the kitchen, horrified at her husband's dead body, when she was actually in the bedroom, meaning she could've been disgusted with her own actions. It's pointless to even write about... just wanted to say.. i think the colonel is gay. i think carolyn shot her own husband, and i think the blood on frank's clothes is coming from his own wife's body, after the life long truth about his own homosexuality has been confronted. Think he offed his wife, and also think that's why ricky says to his mom at the end, "i wish there could've been better for you."
Comment 15 by 'Shahryar' (reply to this comment)
When they show the scenes after lester's shooting, they show each of the characters and what they are doing when the shot is fired. Lester's wife is outside in the rain, when a faint gunshot can be heard. So it could not have been her
Comment 16 by 'tom' (reply to this comment)
i think it was fitts the blood says it all why else would he have that blood on him he would nt go and take the bullet out of his head to cover up because it would have been more hassel for him with all the blood on his t shirt in the first place fitts defently but what a great film but would have been good if lester didnt die tho would have been hard to carry on the story line after all that had happend
Comment 17 by 'Dom' (reply to this comment)
The film CLEARLY depicts Fitts as the killer. And it clearly depicts the reason being that he was a closet homosexual who was afraid of being outed because he's ashamed of himself.
Comment 18 by 'hugh' (reply to this comment)
Fitzz is the killer. Around the scene where we see fitts covered in blood there is a shot of the gun cabinet with a pistol missing. rewind to where rikki is showing off his dads Nazi plate and you will see that the missing gun is the same as carrols which is the one brought up to the back of lesters head when he is shot. Brilliant movie...[expletives deleted - OB] who think you could end it better. You missed the whole point.
Comment 19 by 'mieke' (reply to this comment)
i cant believe any of you think it was anyone but col fits who shot him? seriously were you not watching the film!! it didnt in anyway imply carolyn shot lester, or that col fits shot his wife! Carolyn holding the gun represented her break down and idea that the gun gave her power, yes it was meant to give an impression originaly that she could be the killer, but this is only to keep us guessing as viewers. And col fits shooting his wife?? she doesnt cause him any threat so why would he shoot her, col fits shot lester to cover up his homosexuality because to him it is a sin. Col fits lived his whole life labelling 'gays' as being against nature etc, so when he finaly came out of denial only to be rejected by lester he shot lester. He did this to stop lester from telling anyone and also to try and rid his own shame.
Comment 20 by 'josh' (reply to this comment)
You guys are retarded. The gunshot that was heard when Carolyn was outside COULD have been from mr Fittz killing his wife.
Comment 21 by 'tim' (reply to this comment)
It's obvious his wife isn't the killer, because when lesters life is flashing as he passes away, it shows montage shots of people during the shot and his wife was one of them and the gun can be heard in the nackground. It could be someone we don't know, like ricky being a bit extra twisted and hiring a friend to kill lester and even though jane said she was only kidding
Comment 22 by 'Cara' (reply to this comment)
Col Fitts was most definately the killer. Blood sprays everywhere when you shoot someone and when he ran into his study after the shooting scene, you see that he has rubber gloves on and that the gun on his rack is missing. The reason why he shot Lester was an attempt to erase the proof that he had homosexual feelings. Of course Col Fitts was the killer. It couldn't be Carol because when they were showing where everyone was during the gun shot (Rickey and Janie in her room, Angela in the bathroom etc), Carol was walking on the path leading towards the front door. She's clutching the gun to her hand and you hear the faint sound of the gun shot in the background. I've watched the movie so many times and have analyzed it over and over. Trust me, I know what I'm talking about.
Comment 23 by 'Jonathan' (reply to this comment)
Col Fitts may have pulled the trigger, but there is another question here. Did his son Ricky set him up to do this? Recall that Ricky asked Jane if she wanted him to kill Lester? When she answered yes, did Ricky then set up the Colonel to do the dirty work? Ricky might have suspected that his father was secretly gay, and used this as the trigger for the killing. He befriended Lester, made it obvious he was visiting Lester and was taking money from him. He even leaned over in exactly the right spot when he was rolling the joint so that the Colonel would get the wrong idea when peering through the window. It may not have happened exactly as Ricky planned - perhaps he thought the Colonel would just go next doors and shoot Lester outright, and not come on to Lester first.

Just a thought.
Comment 24 by 'Geoff' (reply to this comment)
you're so low
Comment 25 by 'Jizle' (reply to this comment)
Fuck the lot of ye, I actually fucking enjoyed the movie until i read all this shit, now i'm just unsure! OK, u could be a dickhead and look into every single solitary possibility...BUT...Fitts killed Lester! If the writer wanted us to think any different i'm sure he would have made the fucking movie differently!
Comment 26 by 'Jizle' (reply to this comment)
By the way...I really fucking like tea!
Comment 27 by 'tim' (reply to this comment)
Stop, stop, why does everybody think he killed him, oh he was convered in blood, he couldv'e killed his wfie in a dispute when she finally killed him. He wouldn't of shot him, because he knew lester wasn't gay after the kiss. It might've been his old boss oh his daughter decided she wanted her dad out of misery and got ricky to give her the gun and pass it on.
Comment 28 by 'Carlito' (reply to this comment)
You're all wrong. His wife totally had Buddy do it, And the gun shot we heard while she was walking in the rain wasn't Frank killing his wife, It was actually the Mr. Smiley's Drive-thru Girl who was killing Ricky's mom. Duh! "But Carlito, why did Frank have a bloody T-Shirt?!" Obviously he went hunting in the fucking Caribbean and shot himself a big ol' fucking moose, Not to mention the homosexual neighbors, Jim and Jim, we domestic terrorists,

Have you even watched this film? and i mean actually, watched, this film?
Comment 29 by 'saffy123' (reply to this comment)
I agree. I have seen this movie many times over. And I have to say, after carefully examining the characters in this movie - and they were great characters - I can only conclude that it was Colonel Fitts who shot Lester. And I'll give you my reasons. I came to the conclusion that it could only be Colonel Fitts, the moment he left Lester's garage. I think we can all agree here, that the Colonel was a Closet Homosexual. Just look at how despondent and tormented the Colonel's wife is throughout the movie. Anyway, there are two big reasons why I feel it had to be the Colonel. Number one is - after the Colonel comes out of the closet - so to speak - with Lester, he is rejected by Lester. I've experienced rejection in my life at one time or another, and it can be a terrible feeling. The second reason is - now that the cat is out the bag, so to speak, that the Colonel is gay - a hardened macho Marine, Lester had to die. When he rejected Colonel Fitt's advance, Lester's fate was sealed. Only, he didn't know it of course. There was just no way that the Colonel could take a chance on having Lester blabber to the whole neighborhood, about that encounter between him, and the Colonel - a tough guy marine, no less. Do any of you see my point here. As for the Colonel's wife, I just can't see him going home, and taking it out on his wife. He may have been gay, but I never got the impression that he was a stupid, or irrational man. Getting back to his wife - she was probably the one person in the world, before Lester, who knew he was really gay. Hence - the depression, and torment she exhibits in the movie, that I mentioned earlier. As for Lester's wife possibly killing her husband, I can't buy that. Carolyn had issues, but a killer ? Just what her intentions were when she headed back home, with her gun in her purse, who knows ? It may have been simply to put a scare in into Lester, because of everything that had happened with getting busted by Lester, with Buddy the king, as well as Lester finally growing some balls, and not putting up with Carolyn's bullshit, and fantasy world anymore.
Plus, as some have already have pointed out here, she was outside approaching her home, when she heard a gunshot - at least we are led to believe that she heard it. As for that gunshot coming from the Colonel's home, I doubt it because Carolyn was in a closer proximity to her home, than the Colonel's house. Plus, there was the noise from all the rain. Remember, it was raining outside - and pretty hard at that. That would have had to have been some gunshot, and Carolyn would have to have had some incredible hearing senses, if in fact that shot did come from Fitts's home, after running home and killing his wife, as some have suggested. One last comment here. I'm not a forensics expert, so I honestly don't know in which direction the blood splatter would have traveled right after Lester was shot. So, I make my assumption on face value - that is from the scene after Lester is shot. You see the Colonel with blood splatter all over him - and by the way, did you notice how out of breath Colonel Fitts was, when he's shown removing his latex gloves ? As if he had been running from somewhere, or around somewhere. So, if he in fact did go home and kill his wife right after leaving Lester, why would he be in such an almost panicked state ? The Colonel would have been in the privacy of his own home, with no one around. He could have killed his wife, and taken his time in disposing of all the evidence. And if Carolyn shot Lester, why is there not one drop of blood on her ? I would think at least a little of Lester's blood would have gotten on her clothing. And lastly, as for Carolyn dumping her gun in the hamper in her closet - I think she totally freaked out, after she came home and found Lester slumped over the kitchen table, with blood all over the place. She probably just panicked, after realizing that she had a gun in her possession, and worried that the police were going to think, she shot Lester. Of course, the police would have ruled that out, once they found that Carolyn's gun had not been fired, and so could not have been the the murder weapon. But again, Carolyn probably wasn't thinking rationally, because she was so freaked out after just finding her Lester shot to death. I found this scene so Ironic, because Carolyn was on her way home to scare the shit out of Lester, with her big mean brand new gun - she's not going to be a victim anymore ! - and instead, Lester has already been taken care of - permanently. So that's it folks. Again, all of this is just my opinion of what transpired. You can all come to your own conclusions here. I would never say, that all of my guesswork and assumptions are infallible. That's what makes a movie great. A great movie, that has a great ending. The kind of ending that leaves it to the viewers, to try and figure out what actually happened.
Comment 30 by 'Carlito' (reply to this comment)
i love you.
Comment 31 by 'MattP' (reply to this comment)
I believe that Carolyn killed Lester, and Col. Fitts had killed his wife, realizing his homosexuality, This explains both why Col. Fitts was covered in blood, and why Carolyn hid the gun. As for the fact that you heard a faint shooting while Carolyn was in the rain, this could have been heard from Fitts' house when he had killed his wife(They are neighbours) which encouraged Carolyn to complete her original task, but this is just my interpretation.
Comment 32 by 'Emmmma' (reply to this comment)
I think your wrong!
Comment 33 by 'Christian' (reply to this comment)
Why thank you, now my screen is all covered with bread crumbles.
Comment 34 by 'Rico' (reply to this comment)
The only question I have is, what proof is there that Fitts killed his wife? There is only speculation. They only show one body, Lester's, and one killer, Fitts. Fitts was the only one who had blood on him, Carolyn had no blood on her at all. It'd be impossible to not get blood on you when you shoot someone in the back of their head at point blank range. I think that Carolyn walked in and saw Lester dead and then finally realized how much she loved him and would never see him again. The gun looks like it was never even taken out of her purse. The cut-scene with her where you hear the gun shot in the distance, she was holding her purse in front of her chest. When she runs into the room, she was still holding it in front of her chest. Doesn't make sense to use the gun to kill in your husband, then put it back in the purse and hide it in the closet. I think her throwing it in the hamper thing was more of a reaction to what she saw had been done to Lester by a gun and she wanted to distance herself from the gun she was carrying. Also, what about the three cut-scenes when it shows everyone's reaction to Lester being shot? That was one shot, three different point of views. Not two shots. That wouldn't make any sense as it would be disproportionate if it was Carolyn who killed Lester and Fitts killing his wife. Why show three reactions to two shots? Why couldn't Fitts have killed Lester to keep his homosexuality a secret? Maybe Fitts didn't want to take the chance of someone knowing that he was, in fact, gay and that he also felt rejected by Lester as well. All the pieces only point to Fitts being the killer and nothing says otherwise.
Comment 35 by 'Abre' (reply to this comment)
Okay, just wanna say that I checked the scenes from where you can see the gun behind Lesters head, the gun Carol has, and the Gun that is in Fitts gun rack. And the gun that is in Fitts rack, looks like the same gun as the gun behind Lesters head. Carols gun looks very different from the killers gun. So, Mystery Solved.
Comment 36 by 'Abre' (reply to this comment)
Anonymous User Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Okay, just wanna say that I checked the scenes
> from where you can see the gun behind Lesters
> head, the gun Carol has, and the Gun that is in
> Fitts gun rack. And the gun that is in Fitts rack,
> looks like the same gun as the gun behind Lesters
> head. Carols gun looks very different from the
> killers gun. So, Mystery Solved.

If you wan't to dwell further into it, I can give you info that the gun Fitts has in his rack is a Sig-Sauer P226, the same gun as the killers. Carols gun is Smith&Wesson 5906.
Comment 37 by 'damyth' (reply to this comment)
its been said already...i think the wife was late to the murder and the colonel shot him for 1. to conceal his homosexuality and 2. anger of being rejected
Comment 38 by 'christina' (reply to this comment)
uh.. i don't think that's the point of the scene. We are not interested how but WHO killed Lester.
Comment 39 by 'L' (reply to this comment)
I can't believe some people actually believe his wife was the killer. While she is outside walking in the rain, you can hear the gunshot that killed Lester -- granted, the rain drowned it out for her, which is why she's in so much shock when she finally sees Lester dead. She hides the gun because, um, hi? That looks kind of bad, you know, going through a rough patch in your marriage and suddenly having a gun in your possession.

Yikes. Also, listen to the commentaries on the DVD. They implicate Colonel Fitts as the murderer.
Comment 40 by 'Jamie Costa' (reply to this comment)
Either way, if the Col. shot his own wife or Lester the blood gets on him so theory of the blood splatter being only one direction is irrelevant.
Comment 41 by 'Jamie Costa' (reply to this comment)
Agreed
Comment 42 by 'Jamie Costa' (reply to this comment)
Sweet. Nice job on the research.
Comment 43 by 'Me' (reply to this comment)
Nice one for the mythbusters!
Comment 44 by 'whykilllester' (reply to this comment)
but why...why was lester killed? We know who killed him..fitss is seen wearing gloves and covered in blood with a gun in his hand so ovbiously he killed him ..i wanted to know why..was it because fitss tried to kiss lester? was it because he thought lester had molested his son? why did he kill him? thats what I want to know. I bet the producers of this movie are still laughing knowing we are still asking questions over a movie that was made back in 1999! why was lester shot?
Comment 45 by 'whykilllester' (reply to this comment)
yes it was Angela who asked him..how are you? and he said its been a long time since anyone asked me that..then he says I am great..so yes it was anglal hayes who asked him that question. he didnt bag angela yes because she was a vigin and he said while he would be honored to be her first he didnt want to go there. she came off in the film as bieng a major slut but actually was a virgin. good call!
Comment 46 by 'Lord Babbington' (reply to this comment)
It was Ricky wot dun the murder. He is commissioned by Thora Birch to do it and he has access to the guns. Yes this does fall down when we see Ricky and Thora Hird in the bedroom hearing the shot. I heard that Mendez had a scene cut out of the film where Ricky and somebody else - possibly the Mum were accused of moidering Lester. Perhaps it was the Colonel's mad wife then - fed up with being pushed around by a bender and seeking solace by shooting the man that rebuffed him when after a bit o bum fun
Comment 47 by 'ronnie' (reply to this comment)
fittz might not have killed lester because he was afraid of being outted has a gay..i think he killed him because he was a main reason for ricky and his father falling out, ultimatly leading to ricky leaving..mr fittz was mad at lester for acting like he wasnt interested when clearly (to mr fittz) he was..he killed lester out of anger of losing his son and his wife was half retarded..simple as that,..its kinda fkd up..i jus like watching that BAG dance out..so pretty..lol
Comment 48 by 'Master Quaver' (reply to this comment)
There really needs to be an Offscreen killer category here too. As well as this, I would say Lester could quite easily be classed as a Goody (Major) in my opinion, but that's just me.
Comment 49 by 'Lei' (reply to this comment)
It could have still been her. She didn't react to the faint gunshot, as it was so faint. That particular gunshot could have been the Colonel shooting his own wife. By reviewing the facts in the movie and how they replayed the gunshot a few times, you don't know the sequence of events and it is not definitive who shot whom. I think that in itself is one of the beauties of the movie, that it doesn't really matter. It is interesting to debate and see other people's thoughts though!
Comment 50 by 'André' (reply to this comment)
If you base your opinion on what is actually shown in this movie you cannot conclude otherwise than Lester did it, and you can also predict also that Ricky and Jane will be blamed for the murders, in any case that was my conclusion but to be sure I went back to the original script and that was the original scenario, Lester then frames his son and Jane, Ricky and Jane are convicted of murder of Lester Burnham, This was deemed to be too depressing so they left it out of the movie.
Comment 51 by 'Anonymous3453' (reply to this comment)
I think it was clear who killed Lester. If Ricky's dad had gone and found the body and tried picking it up then he would have more wholesome blood stains on his shirts and not tiny splatters. His gun is ALSO missing.
The wife does not kill him. She seems like she had been planning to and was trying to restrain very badly (hence the tapes). She was clinging on to the gun in her purse. It's possible that the gun never left her bag? She might have walked in after the gun short which was in the kitchen so she might not have known what happened at all. But then why did she cry about her husband? Maybe, she was crying at the thought of bringing a gun INTO her house to KILL someone. That someone being a man she used to love. A man she lost a while back (not because of his death but because of his new attitude). They began by showing us everyone's location at the time. They showed the mom's before or present (we will never know) and the after. She had absolutely no blood on her.

But why did the dad kill Lester. He wasn't testing or experimenting. He wasn't curious about the life at all. He himself was gay. He had this strong image that he gave off to mask his gay image. He couldn't accept it himself. That's why he despised gay people SOOOO MUCH. He believed if he hated them that he wasn't one of them. Which is the case with a lot of people. Even gays. Some gay guys try to hide it or mask it by dating so many girls and acting like perverts to mask their real thoughts. I have two very good real life examples of it. Ricky's dad finally came out and got REJECTED. He thought that lester was gay because he was handing out weed for sexual acts from men. Rickys dad thought that' what Lester wanted. A guy who would take sexual acts from men instead of money is the best guy for Rickys dad to see/ accept if he really wanted men. But then he's rejected. He just came out though? So no one else knew? So how would he hide it? By killing the only person who knew. Lester. That way he can go back to hating gays.
Comment 52 by 'André' (reply to this comment)
André Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If you base your opinion on what is actually shown
> in this movie you cannot conclude otherwise than
> Col Frank Fitts did it, and you can also predict also that
> Ricky and Jane will be blamed for the murders, in
> any case that was my conclusion but to be sure I
> went back to the original script and that was the
> original scenario, Col Frank Fitts then frames his son and
> Jane, Ricky and Jane are convicted of murder of
> Lester Burnham, This was deemed to be too
> depressing so they left it out of the movie.

I made the following correction on my previous post, I meant to say Col Frank Fitts was responsible for the murder of Lester Burnham.
Comment 53 by 'Bustyn' (reply to this comment)
Did anyone notice that the after murder montage showed where all of the major characters where when the fatal shot was fired, with the exception of one; Colonel Fitts. He pulled the trigger.
Comment 54 by 'Dani' (reply to this comment)
Actually, I don't think Ricky set up or had any affiliation with Lester's death. You may also recall that Ricky told Janie that it was wrong to think about having her father killed after Janie mentioned she wished someone would put him out of his misery.
Comment 55 by 'Michael Roberts' (reply to this comment)
The gun that Carolyn shoots at the range is a Smith and Wesson. The gun that kills Lester is a Sig Sauer. The gun hanging on the wall in Fitts's office is... a Sig Sauer.

You can see the muzzle profile in all three scenes, and while each gun is stainless and of similar profile, the Smith has a satin finish while the S&W is polished.