In this question Is it ok to kill guards? on of the comments suggested "Just make sure you also kill any witnesses".

Is that comment correct? In previous elder scrolls game it doesn't matter is someone saw you ... you will still get a bounty if you even think about hurting any city person. is that true? can I kill somebody and kill a witness and there will be no bounty?

2 Answers 2


That is correct. If there are no witnesses - or if you kill all of the witnesses before a guard is notified, you will not accrue a bounty. You'll see a notification to the effect of "All witnesses dead. Bounty cleared" when you do so.

Keep in mind that, for these purposes, chickens and horses are often condidered witnesses.

  • 3
    An easy way of killing guards without having any witnesses is to sneak, and make sure no one is looking. If you have good conjuration and sneak skill levels, conjure an atronarch and attack the guard once. Your atronarch is going to start attacking the guard and you won't get blamed for it. :) I did that in DragonsReach for all of the guards... It works great. Also, if you want to kill simple people, just sneak and throw the fury spell on them. They'll start attacking you, and you can claim self defence...
    – Etienne
    Commented Dec 21, 2011 at 23:37
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    Another thing to keep in mind is that not everyone can be killed. Some will just hunch over for a while, then get back up. They can still be witnesses, so if one of them sees you do something, you're going to be in a bit of trouble. Commented Dec 22, 2011 at 14:25

If the witness is one that cannot be killed (usually the characters NEEDED for a certain quest), then you can just simply hit them, and they will chase you. Lure them up a cliff, and do a fus roh dah to push them into a narrow choke where they cannot climb out of. I had to trap legate constantius tituleus like that because i accidentally did splash damage on the legion camp while fighting a dragon and he started following me everywhere.

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