In the second episode of season 3...

when Rick and crew are making their way through the prison and killing walkers, they encounter several riot gear covered zombies who have to be killed by lifting their visors and stabbing them under the chin. If these guys were wearing armor, they obviously didn't die from being bitten. They didn't shoot themselves, and they (presumably) didn't starve, since there was food in the prison and outside. Why are they dead?

  • 2
    why the downvote?? EDIT: I have now added a spoiler tag in case that was the problem, but if it was, next time add a comment instead of downvoting
    – roryok
    Nov 20, 2012 at 13:57
  • 1
    I didn't DV, but it isn't a very constructive question. They could have been shot, starved, or could have been bitten prior to donning the armor. The armor itself almost certainly doesn't mean that they are guaranteed not to get bitten. There is no real way to know, and the show certainly will not seek to answer this question...so any answer would be pure speculation.
    – NominSim
    Nov 20, 2012 at 14:01
  • I don't see a problem with asking a question on a Speculative Fiction forum and getting a speculative answer.
    – roryok
    Nov 20, 2012 at 14:23
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    @roryok From the description when voting to close/flagging as "Not constructive": "We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion." Nov 20, 2012 at 14:25
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    On the other hand, it is a question that begs to be answered. I admit I was curious when I saw the riot clothed guards, still fully dressed but dead just the same. I mentally posited half a dozen possibilities. With responsible efforts, such a question should not be beyond the range of potential discussion if reasonable efforts are made for analysis. Consider it "forensic speculation." Nov 20, 2012 at 16:24

4 Answers 4


I think we have to speculate a little bit here, which is supposed to be verboten, but is lots of fun.

Let's rule out, like you said, that it was zombie bites or clawing that did them in. That leaves a couple of possibilities that I see:

  1. They were fatally shot in a place not visible on camera (maybe in the back)
  2. They died from crushing pressure, maybe buried under a pile of zombies
  3. They were electrocuted through their armor.
  4. They starved to death.

None of these are very satisfying. I think if we move from speculation to rank storytelling, we can add one more possibility to the list:

  1. The riot team read the tea leaves and mixed up a batch of Jim Jones Kool-Aid.

That's the answer that satisfies me the most. The riot team was pinned down behind a massive wave of zombies and found some poison to finish themselves.

  • 5
    +1 Though I think you should add 5. They were already bitten/dying before they put on the armor as a possibility. To me that seems most likely.
    – NominSim
    Nov 20, 2012 at 17:28
  • I suppose some of them could have been bitten, it'd be unlikely they all were. anyone recall how many rick and co encounter? I think it was at least 4
    – roryok
    Nov 21, 2012 at 9:22

If you have been watching you should know:

Everyone has the disease....
You do not have to have been bitten in order to have the disease.

  • 4
    From what I gathered, you do have to die though, to become a zombie.
    – Willem
    Nov 20, 2012 at 14:02
  • @Willem who says they were not pummeled to death? Armor does not really protect from that.
    – Naftali
    Nov 20, 2012 at 14:03
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    True, but your answer does not point to that in any way in it's current form.
    – Willem
    Nov 20, 2012 at 14:05
  • yes, I've been watching the show. I did not start randomly on season 3.
    – roryok
    Nov 20, 2012 at 14:24

Here is what probably happened. When the outbreak reached the prison it was chaos. Think about it ... inmates probably went crazy and ganged up on police and killed the riot gear police with guns or blunt objects; or the walkers surrounded them and they were crushed by the zombies. Zombies lack the intelligence to figure out how to get through riot gear. I do not think it is possible that they were bitten before they put the riot gear on.


If you see the scenario carefully it seems like place were overrun with a lot of walkers ( I means massive amount) so it is still possible that they got bitten on their tiny exposed parts more likely from behind.

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