25 US Witness Protection Program Secrets You’ve Always Wanted To Know

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.

silhouette profileSource: http://people.howstuffworks.com

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.

DepartmentSource: https://priceonomics.com/ Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org (public domain)

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.

orientationSource: http://mentalfloss.com

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.

firstnameSource: http://www2.usanetwork.com Image Source: https://www.pexels.com (public domain)

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.

fishingboatSource: http://people.howstuffworks.com Image Source: https://www.pexels.com (public domain)

SEE ALSO: 25 Harry Potter Facts That Will Knock You Off Your Broomstick »

NOW WATCH: 25 Greatest Unsolved Mysteries Ever

Subscribe to List25

What do you think?

1 point
Upvote Downvote
25 Most Remarkable Nobel Peace Prize Winners

25 Most Remarkable Nobel Peace Prize Winners

25 Unbelievable April Fools' Day Events That Actually Happened

25 Unbelievable April Fools’ Day Events That Actually Happened