Have you ever wondered what happens when someone enters the US Witness Protection Program? It’s a kind of secret club we all know exists but don’t know much about. Here are 25 US Witness Protection Program Secrets You’ve Always Wanted To Know.
The official name for witness protection is United States Federal Witness Protection Program. It's also known as the Witness Security Program, commonly called WITSEC.
When someone agrees to enter WITSEC, United States Marshals immediately go to their home and pick them up. If the witness is in custody, they still show up and take their family, since historically the mob would murder the families of witnesses to keep them from testifying. Family, if you're wondering, can include not just spouse and kids, but also parents, siblings, and mistresses.
After being picked up by U.S. Marshals, WITSEC participants and their families are taken away to orientation, somewhere near DC. For years, they had issues with training participants in the program on what was expected of them, so they have a witness safe-house/orientation center near DC that can hold up to six families and withstand bomb blasts. No word on how many mistresses in addition to the six families though.
Many people who are relocated by WITSEC are able to keep their first names. In some cases, however, they keep their last name but not their first.
Since the purpose of Witness Protection is to keep witnesses safe in order to testify, witnesses often have to be snuck into their trial in creative ways - mail trucks, helicopters, and even fishing boats as well as decoys have been used.
Photos: Feature Image: Shutterstock, 25. Walt Stoneburner via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 23. Ben Oberg via flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, 17. Richard Bartz, Munich Makro Freak, Canis lupus familiaris disguised, CC BY-SA 2.5, 16. Chris Potter, 3D Judges Gavel, CC BY 2.0, 3. Drew Stephens via flickr, CC BY-SA2.0