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This article is about the Comic Series character. You may be looking for his mention in the Video Game or his Road to Survival counterpart. For other pages with the same name, see: Thomas

"Come back here you slut! It's time to get your medicine, you fucking whore!"
—Thomas Richards while attempting to kill Andrea.[src]

Thomas Richards is a character and an antagonist first encountered in Issue 13 of Image Comics' The Walking Dead. He is a psychotic convict, who survived the outbreak trapped in the prison cafeteria, along with Axel, Dexter, and Andrew. He served as the primary antagonist of Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars.


Thomas initially came off as quiet and "nerdy", but also polite and helpful. For this reason, as well as his supposedly non-violent crime, he was deemed the least threatening of the prisoners. In complete contrast to this persona, he was soon exposed as a bloodthirsty psychopath with a horrific obsession with decapitating women, evident by his murders of the Greene twins and attempted murder of Andrea and Patricia. Thomas' logic also seemed to be hypocritical, as he berated Andrea's use of strong language but then proceeded to shout graphic profanities at her, both whilst trying to kill her.

Even though he died quite soon after his introduction, Thomas' role was partly significant. As a minor antagonist to the survivors, he exposed the biggest threat to stability in a zombie apocalypse: fellow survivors. The survivors had not encountered many violent or extremely dangerous humans before their arrival at the Prison, and as such, were unprepared for the deceitfully insane but crafty Thomas.


Meriwether County Correctional Facility

Before the apocalypse, Thomas was imprisoned for an unknown crime. Though he initially claimed it to be tax evasion, this was proven to be a lie, and his real crime was most likely murder.

As the outbreak began, the prisoners within the correctional facility learned of the outbreak through news reports began relayed on the TV. As news of the outbreak spread, the guards of the prison began deserting en masse to be with their families, leaving the prison massively understaffed and vulnerable. Eventually some walkers managed to enter the prison, leading to it being overrun fairly quickly, and the remaining prisoners, including Richards, facing the fate of starving to death in their cells. However, the remaining guards let them out of their cells with the proposal of cooperating to fight their way out of the prison, which the prisoners agree to. Dexter and the coalition of guards and inmates fight their way out of the prison until the guards lock the surviving inmates, Dexter, Axel, Andrew and Thomas, in the prison cafeteria, leaving them isolated from the outside world until the main of group of survivors arrive and free them from the cafeteria.

Main article: Thomas Richards (Video Game)


Safety Behind Bars

He, along with Axel, Dexter, and Andrew were found by Rick Grimes and Tyreese in the cafeteria of The Prison, which was barricaded by a police baton and a few of the prison guards. The four convicts explained their isolated survival attributed to the wealth of food and supplies that was meant to feed the entire prison population for weeks. When each of the four introduced themselves, Thomas claimed he was put into jail for tax evasion. Along with his three fellow inmates, Thomas was less vocal and didn't share much else in his initial introduction. Compared to the revelation of Dexter's murderous past or Axel's armed robbery charges, Thomas seemed less of a threat than the other convicts.

Not much was seen of Thomas in the short time the convicts had total freedom alongside the survivors. However, he was actively featured interacting with the other survivors more than the distrustful Dexter and awkward Andrew. He helped Lori Grimes and the women move their belongings into the cells and other general tasks. He also spoke to Patricia with an abnormal level of etiquette. These positive exchanges gave Thomas a favorable impression initially. However, it soon became apparent he was actually a homicidal lunatic.

The grotesque decapitation of Susie Greene and Rachel Greene caught the survivors off-guard. Lori and the others quickly accused Dexter of being the killer because of his murder conviction. While the survivors focused on the wrong person, Thomas continued his spree with his sights set on Andrea, who was alone in the laundry room. He attempted to cut her head off but instead only managed to slice Andrea's face and earlobe. Andrea managed to escape to the grounds of the penitentiary, and Thomas followed her outside with his knife proclaiming his desire to kill her.

Rick witnessed Andrea flee. In a fit of absolute fury, Rick disarmed Thomas and proceeded to brutally beat him with his fists. Although Lori tried to stop him, it was only after Tyreese physically intervened that Rick stopped. Thomas was beaten nearly to the point of death, with his body and face being severely broken and mangled.

While Rick confronted the shocked community on hanging Thomas and why it needed to be done, Thomas was isolated in a cell. Patricia, who had only a positive perception of the man as merely troubled, attempted to break him out. Unfortunately, she misjudged his insanity, and even in his severely weakened state, Thomas tried to kill her immediately. Hearing the commotion, the vengeful Maggie Greene saved Patricia's life when she unloaded her entire side-arm's magazine into Thomas.

Later, at the request of Hershel, Thomas' corpse is thrown to the zombie hordes outside of the prison, where it's ripped apart by the masses.

The Heart's Desire

Thomas corpse can briefly be seen outside the prison gates, devoured down to the bone. A walker gets its intestine caught on Thomas' skeleton and trips.


Killed By

After having killed her sisters, Rachel and Susie, and trying to kill Andrea and Patricia, Maggie shoots Thomas several times in the back.

Killed Victims

This list shows the victims Thomas has killed:


Rick Grimes

"We're going to hang him."
—Rick to the group about Thomas. [src]
At first Rick and Thomas didn't seem to mind one another, Thomas was also was one of the more trusted prisoner as he lied about what he was really imprisoned for and helped the woman moving in on the first day. But after Susie and Rachel's bodies were found decapitated, Rick felt guilty as he had suggested to Hershel that he and his family should join them in the prison. Once Rick discovered that it was in fact Thomas that had murdered both Susie and Rachel and was trying to kill Andrea, Rick savagely beat his face to a pulp; this destroyed any relationship between the two and made them despise one another. Rick suggested that they should hang Thomas and even after he was instead shot by Maggie, Rick agreed to Hershel's request to feed his body to the zombies surrounding the prison fence instead of burying him. When the zombies are tearing the corpse apart Rick states, "This I don't need to see" and walks away, leaving Hershel and his son Billy watching the zombies tear into Thomas' corpse. Rick had wanted Thomas's death to be as painful as possible as he murdered two of Hershel's daughters. This was shown as Rick told Tyreese to get Thomas out of the freezer as he would suffocate and that would be too easy of a death for him.


"Never did trust him."
—Dexter to Rick about Thomas. [src]
Although Thomas and Dexter were locked in a cafeteria together along with Andrew and Axel they were not friends but were civil to one another. After Thomas murdered Susie and Rachel, Dexter was accused of the murder and locked in his cell at gun point. When Thomas was caught Dexter said that he never had trusted Thomas.


—Thomas to Patricia. [src]
Although the two of them only knew each other for a short time, Patricia grew close to Thomas after just one short conversation. Patricia was incredibly devastated after Rick's mauling of Thomas. Patricia attempted to free Thomas from his prison cell and escape with him, believing that he simply needed help and was not evil. This was halted when Thomas lashed out and attempted to strangle Patricia to death. Patricia clawed his face and ran away, with Thomas running after her. Thomas was shot and killed by Maggie shortly after.

Hershel Greene

"I will let the Lord be your judge."
—Hershel to Thomas.[src]
Hershel isn't seen interacting with Thomas until after Thomas murdered Rachel and Susie. Hershel approached Thomas when he was removed from the freezer and told him that despite everything, that he forgave him for murdering his daughters and mentioned that he will let the lord be Thomas' judge. When Rick mentioned that they were still going to hang him, Hershel said that he wanted to watch. After Thomas is finally killed by Maggie, Rick puts Thomas' corpse out to be devoured and Hershel watched Thomas be torn apart with tears in his eyes. Rick later mentioned to Lori that Hershel wanted to see Thomas torn apart by zombies to get a sense of closure.


"So l could cut off your head."
—Thomas threatening Andrea.[src]
Thomas attempted to kill Andrea, however she was able to fight him off. Andrea is adamant about Thomas being killed for his crimes.


"Look, you can not like me however much you want--but I didn't know him and I damn sure didn't like him. Listen, I was locked in that cafeteria for months but I wasn't his friend. The man barely spoke and he gave me the willies anyway. "
—Axel to Hershel about Thomas.[src]
Though Thomas and Axel are never seen interacting, Axel never liked Thomas, claiming that the man gave him "the willies".


Issues 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Book One
Book Two 👁
Book Three
Book Four
Book Five
Book Six
Book Seven
Book Eight
Book Nine
Book Ten
Book Eleven
Book Twelve
Book Thirteen
Book Fourteen
Book Fifteen
Book Sixteen
Appears Voice is heard
👁 Appears with no lines Appears in a flashback
Appears as a walker 🖼 Appears in a photograph/video
Appears as a corpse Appears in a hallucination/dream


  • Robert Kirkman revealed Thomas was originally planned to stab the pregnant Lori Grimes in the stomach, killing the baby.
  • Thomas was originally going to be hanged before it was decided to have Maggie kill him.
    • This was implied on the cover art for Issue 18.
  • Thomas is referenced in the The Walking Dead Video Game by the unnamed Police Officer.
  • Thomas is the only named survivor to be directly killed by Maggie Greene.
  • In Issue 20, a zombie gets his intestine caught on Thomas' corpse and falls.
  • Thomas being the killer was foreshadowed, as when he lied about being sentenced for taxed fraud, he turned his head away from the group, unlike the rest of the prisoners, who faced the group.
    • In real life, people who go to prison for tax evasion usually go to different prisons than those who did violent crimes, adding to more evidence he was lying.