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What is the Witness Protection Program?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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The Witness Protection Program is a service provided by the United States government that protects witnesses in major criminal cases from physical harm and intimidation. Among law enforcement, the program is better known as the United States Federal Witness Security Program, or WITSEC. Under witness protection, someone will be provided with physical security as well as a new identity and a place to live. The program applies to witnesses and close family members who may also be under threat. Some Americans are surprised to learn that many of the people in the program are former criminals who made a bargain with the government to avoid prosecution.

In order to be eligible for witness protection, the witness must provide major evidence relating to a grave felony. Witnesses in organized crime, drug running, and terrorism cases may be offered protection if they qualify. If the life of the witness is considered to be at risk because of his or her testimony, protection will be offered, and family members are frequently included as well. The threat of death or intimidation must be substantial, as protecting a witness is very expensive.

The Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 included a provision to establish the Witness Protection Program. Under the Act, the US Attorney General has final say over who will enter the program. Typically, a state attorney general recommends a witness for inclusion in the program, although witnesses may also apply for protection. The protection offered by the program is provided for life, as long as the witness does not commit a crime again, and the recidivism rate is around 17%. Some individual states also offer witness protection programs of their own.

In addition to providing physical security, the program also relocates witnesses after the trial and provides them with new identities. A small living stipend is offered until the witness finds a new job, and other assistance may be provided on an as-needed basis. When the witness is relocated, local law enforcement are informed if he or she was a criminal, so that they can keep an eye on the witness as well.

The program also includes restrictions. The witness is not allowed to return to his or her former hometown and is not supposed to contact former friends and acquaintances. Nearly every witness who has complied with the terms of the program has been successfully protected, although witnesses who broke with the terms have been killed.

America Explained is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a America Explained researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon994411 — On Feb 07, 2016

It started in 2011. I was a productive mother of three children, Since then, I have lost my children, my income and my home. I have been arrested many times, intimidated, character destroyed and don't even have one piece of paper mail -- nothing of my past. I had enough paper work to cover a twenty by forty area. I had everything. From shot records to receipts everything of my children. I had duffle bags of papers. All is gone, taken from my residence. All pictures, pill bottles. Even my children's belongings gone. No, I didn't remove them, didn't throw anything away and never lost anything. My children and I are a memory with not one document of our life. Help me. I'm scared. I have a lot to lose, also, like an inheritance, etc.

By anon946979 — On Apr 23, 2014

If, through years of searching for someone believed to be dead, you realize they're in witness protection, and have figured out way too much, you also realize if you can, so can others. How can you warn them without getting them booted from the program?

By anon344358 — On Aug 08, 2013

@Anon 21246: Personally, I would be careful if I were you. It may not come from your "friend," which would make it even worse. Take it seriously, though in any case, is what I would do. Your friend may be trying to protect you and that would be good. If the bad guys sent it, it would not be good. Either way, be careful. Call the police maybe?

By Spy8 — On Jan 14, 2013

I met someone who says they are in witness protection. What should I do? They have proof of the past life.

By lion0777 — On May 07, 2012

If you're in the witness protection program, how long do you need to be in the safe house, and when they get relocated, do they get a car?

By babyface1 — On Apr 26, 2012

I am someone who was helping the DEA out on one of the buys. I was threatened if they got busted I was dead. I am scared. Can I be placed in witness protection?

By anon262089 — On Apr 18, 2012

I got into some trouble a while back and turned informant. The people that I set up are busted and now I'm getting death threats, saying my door is going to get kicked in etc.

I was wondering if I qualified for the program and if so, who should I talk to -- the detectives I worked for? I'm scared for my life and my family whom live with me!

By anon256833 — On Mar 23, 2012

Why do so many people diss the Witness Protection Program?

By anon244815 — On Feb 02, 2012

Just to clarify on the feds not having a witness protection unit: they do but it's supervised by the US Marshals, but there are many witness protection units run by different states or police. For instance, state police have their own witness protection unit, the feds have one and the DEA also has theirs.

But the feds, if you were ever to be stuck in such a situation, would be the best ones to deal with because they set you up pretty nice. Not many will offer you a new name for you to move on in life without looking over your shoulder the rest of your life.

I'm in witness protection so I do know what I'm talking about and to tell you the truth, if I knew how I would have been treated once I was a ward of the state's funds, I would have turned the other way and wrote that good deed off.

By anon243450 — On Jan 27, 2012

I have read a lot of lies on here. The FBI has nothing to do with witness protection. It's run by the US Marshal's Service.

By intheprogram — On Jan 12, 2012

Also, to whoever thinks about snitching on someone to get put into witness protection, "don't." It's a joke. Go to rehab. Don't do this to yourself. You will regret it. It's not what you see on TV.

By intheprogram — On Jan 12, 2012

By the way, to reply to anon 239923, there's no one number to contact what you call "the witness protection" program. There's millions of protection programs. Sorry I couldn't be of any help.

By intheprogram — On Jan 12, 2012

My family and I are currently in protective custody, due to being witnesses of organized crime, which I (or we) were not involved in, but all the same I knew to much and police felt like it would be best for us to be in the program.

Once in police custody, every promise these people made as far as being safe after being relocated and how long we would be in a safe house has all been a lie. Once you are at the mercy of them and the state's funds you are stuck. We will not get new names and they even took our vehicle and they're telling us that whatever money they do give us we have to spend within two days while they are they doing the relocation so there's no value shopping. They supervise everything with the money they give you.

It's like you feel like you're the criminal once you're stuck dealing with them because that's the way they treat you. As I speak, we are stuck in a safe house and until the state has the funds to put us in a normal house, we are stuck here, kids and all. This is sad. This what you get for helping the police. It makes me sick. Soon I'm going to start looking for a lawyer to get what was promised to us and not stick in this over politics.

By anon239923 — On Jan 11, 2012

Please I need help asap. My sister has been missing for about three months. I filed a police report but no one seems to know where she is. She's also been in a abusive relationship. I don't know much about witness protection but I don't know what to do anymore.

I've tried looking for her myself. Is there a number I can call and see if my sister is in a program or not?

By mizzsos — On Jul 08, 2011

I know a very dear person who is in the witness relocation program. the d.a. told him there's no such thing as witness protection. they told him the only one who gets that is the president, meaning that no one is going to watch over you.

anyway, i was wondering about some things he told me that i could not help him with, so maybe i can get him some advice from here. o.k. the d.a.'s office told him the program is for four months, but could go up to a year. his son witnessed a murder where they lived and the poor kid saw everything so he is the key witness and he is 13.

the dad feels like he did not get out of the program what he was supposed to and now these d.a.'s are supposed to be the family's advocate. the kid was out of school for five months for what? all they did was move them to the next county over so the people got a section 8 voucher and were told to move 50 miles away, but from the voucher people, but the d.a.'s office said that's not true long as you don't go back to that area.

now my thing is this: they told these people they can't have contact with their family for five years so now they are back in the city. more to come later.

By anon173656 — On May 08, 2011

The protection program gives the witness a new identity and relocation. Has the witness the obligation to remain in the States or is there any kind of agreement in order to provide a location out of the country. I need your advice for the book I am currently writing. Thank you very much in advance.

By anon171470 — On Apr 30, 2011

My father has some neighbors who have cameras around their property so they can see people before they even get close to their house.

These same people drive two vehicles that, for the last seven years, have not had license plates on them. How is this legal when the rest of us have to license, pay for tags and register our vehicles? Could they be in the WPP?

By curiouscat — On Apr 27, 2011

Not that anyone would know but if anyone could help or knows the answer it would be greatly appreciated. I have been reading up on the Witness Protection Program and its rules.

My question: If someone is in the program and does not like the location they are at and have been in the program some time, can that person make a personal request to move to the place of their choice? And if so does the program move that person for them?

Thank you for your time and any information you may have on this subject.

By anon170277 — On Apr 25, 2011

If someone is in the wpp convicted of 30 plus counts of arson and he gets a twic card under his new identity is that considered a crime since twic will not give a card to anyone that has arson in their history, it is a card that allows you to get on all us ports. Also can I write a book on the case since there is nothing to connect his new identity to the book? Thank you

By anon162261 — On Mar 22, 2011

Back in the late 70's my grandfather one day just disappeared. He was unfortunately involved in and with the mob back then and it is believed that he may have been put into the witness protection program. At this time he would be at least 100 years old, and my question is, there any way to find out if he were, and if so where he was sent and died. I was only eight years old when he disappeared and it has bothered me ever since not knowing what happened to him.

My family would like nothing more but to put to rest the fact that he possibly took off or worse, killed. We would also like to be able to pay our respects if he were indeed placed into the program for the safety of his family who loved him dearly. We would like to put to rest the what ifs! If anyone with any info regarding what or how to possibly obtain any info, it would be greatly appreciated.

By anon160988 — On Mar 17, 2011

It's helpful to read some of these explanations. My estranged sister has been in WP for many years, I learned, when I had to do an heir search when our mother died in 1990. She had not been in touch with the family since 1958, though when I was a kid, I always wondered if I would ever see her again but apparently the answer is no.

At one time before I knew about WP, there was a woman I worked with whom I believed to be her. When I asked her a few questions (where she was born) she was very elusive. I sent a family album to the U.S. Marshal, but of course they wouldn't acknowledge anything. All our family is dead now except me and her -- if she is still alive. It's hard to just pretend someone is "dead", knowing they aren't. It's sad how things work and the twists in life.

By anon152627 — On Feb 14, 2011

My father has been missing since I was seventeen. I am now 44. I know he was involved in some OC. My Mother says he is either in witness protection or he is dead. Some strange things happened before he came up missing. His partner in crime, his partner's mother was found with her throat slashed from ear to ear. The last time I saw Daddy he was growing a beard. Which as vain as he was he would never wear hair on his face.

As a matter of fact, I don't think daddy could handle witness protection. He was a compulsive gambler, thief, he loved the fast life. He was addicted to it. I think he probably embezzled some money from these people who probably killed him. I don't know for sure. I guess I need closure. That I will never get. I believe he is probably dead.

By anon108457 — On Sep 02, 2010

I read on here people asking questions about can they choose the name of a movie star, or some famous person, or get plastic surgery. The best one was the person who said they paid the FBI to get in the the program. Ha! So, you thought that the person that paid the stupid FBI was stupid and foolish for paying them, right? Well, that post came from me, mister, and you know what? I never knew that before any of this has happened to me, okay?

I found out by doing the work and searching the internet for the WITSEC Program. I finally understood what they were talking about and I believe them. Not the stupid FBI or the CIA or anyone else any more okay. I have learned the hard way. And if you think that was a gas, then you should try getting people's names off of the master mailing and e-mail lists they have overseas and then come back and let everyone here in American know that you have succeeded, OK?

Otherwise, mind your own business on my postings.

By anon107762 — On Aug 31, 2010

i know a lot of drug dealers who have been selling heroin laced weed and i was wondering if i go to the police and work under cover for them and get a few deals going that would put them all in jail would i be eligible for witness protection?

Also i have drug tested myself and it seems that they are lacing it with really hard drugs and i want to stop all their deals and put them behind bars. Also I've hated the town that i am in now and if i did what said i would begin a new life and hopefully more happier and with out a bunch of jerks around me 24/7.

By anon104925 — On Aug 18, 2010

I have had a very different experience with the program.

My stepfather was in the program. He had a gambling problem, along with a drug problem and when things got too heavy, he snitched and was placed in the program.

State social services were called numerous times because of neighbor complaints. When things got to where I and my half brothers were going to me removed from the home, someone from the feds stepped in and magically the complaints went away.

They also dealt heroin with immunity as every time they got busted, again, the feds came in and fixed everything.

Don't let these people fool you. They are just as bad, if not worse, than the people they helped to convict.

By anon104762 — On Aug 18, 2010

I have read some crazy stuff on here. Here is what is real:

1. No one is assumed or announced deceased who enter the Program. They are just gone. Period.

2. Someone in the program must adhere to specific guidelines and rules. If you don't, you are out and on your own.

3. Financial support is at a minimum, and only covers basic expenses. It is up to you to secure employment and become self supporting.

4. While it is true that people in the program receive new identities like birth certificates, SS number, DL, and supporting background information, you will not receive plastic surgery.

5. This is not anything like what is portrayed in the movies. You will look for a job, and you will demonstrate that you are seeking employment. If program officials feel that you are just there for a "ride", your basic funding may be cut off.

6. You can't have a Facebook account, or be involved in any social network. You cannot post any pictures of yourself anywhere. Your internet activities are monitored. And cell phone activity is regularly reviewed.

7. If you try to make contact with family or friends, return within a specific range of where you came from, or in any way put yourself in a position of being exposed, you risk being dropped from the program.

8. You can leave the program, but you will not ever be eligible again. In fact, under certain circumstances, you may be liable for repayment of some or all monies you received.

9. It is not a glamorous lifestyle by any means. You are not going to be put up in some mansion, or huge house and your money will be tight. Although, if your own funds can quickly be converted to cash, you can bring that also. Otherwise, you have no access to anything you "used" to own, and that goes for stocks, bonds, retirement accounts, etc.

10. if you commit a crime while in the program, you will be prosecuted. There won't be a mysterious man show up and order your release.

I read on here people asking questions about can they choose the name of a movie star, or some famous person, or get plastic Surgery. The best one was the person who said they paid the FBI to get in the the program. Ha! The FBI has nothing to do with the program. It is run by the U.S. Marshals Office, and it is not a club you join.

Grow up, people. There are many more details that I am not going to go into, but the bottom line is if you qualified for the program, you have the time to be posting here. You would be in serious trouble, and the proper people would be handling your situation.

If you ever lie to program officials, you will have huge problems.

11. Just having some info about someone does not qualify you for the program. That is decided by the Attorney General's office.

By anon103145 — On Aug 10, 2010

@Anon101687: I am not in Northern California, but I have been going through something major myself with the F.B.I. in Los Angeles, California. I have been working with Daniel McMullen and also with other F.B.I. agents. They could possibly help you out with your questions as since you are an attorney. Usually an agent at that office by the code name of Z105 answers their phone line.

By anon102829 — On Aug 09, 2010

I work with a girl who told her boss she was put into the witness protection program because her ex-husband raped her daughter and they were waiting for the DNA test to come back. The boss of her section has fallen for this and kept her job open while she was out doing god knows what while the rest of the office covered her job.

Is it a federal offense to claim you're in The WPP and not be? Anyone know?

By anon101687 — On Aug 04, 2010

I am an attorney representing a company against a lawsuit filed by an individual who claims that he cannot give me his former names because he is in the witness protection program.

I am looking for someone in Northern California who has expert knowledge on the witness protection program so that I can discuss the validity of this person's claim (that he is in witness protection) and whether individuals who are in witness protection can file lawsuits, disclose that they are in witness protection, whether individuals in witness protection get a living stipend, and the overall obligations an individual in witness protection has.

By anon99084 — On Jul 25, 2010

@Anon98172: Whatever this person has told you, is absolutely incorrect. They cannot keep the same job and just because their son is going to testify against someone, doesn't qualify for anyone to go into the WPP (Witness Protection Program.)There is a lot more involved than just putting someone into that sort of a program since it costs the government a lot of money in order to protect people from harm.

If this person was also supposed to have gone into the WPP, then you shouldn't have even known about it at all, either. It is supposed to have been totally top secret and not allowed to have been told.

If your so called boyfriend is supposed to have been taken into that sort of program, then he was not supposed to have been allowed to have told you at all anything about it. They were to make sure of that at any and all cost. And your boyfriend's and his son's lives must have have been threatened with a lot more than a verbal threat to have been considered for the WPP or else it would still just be held and worked by the regular police department.

By anon98172 — On Jul 22, 2010

My boyfriend has told me he has to go into a Witness Protection Program because his son is going to testify against someone and that person has been in his home. But he says they are going to allow him to keep his same job. That doesn't sound right to me.

By anon93401 — On Jul 03, 2010

@Anon92855: In reply to your questions: Since your friend left before the FBI could include him in his family's new identities just to be with his fiancée, then he will be the only person left that is known to be alive. The rest of his/her family is now known as deceased to him and his fiancée and they will never ever see or hear from them ever again.

As the other answers go to what will happen to their companies and their bosses, etc. All of those things are non existent to anyone or any of them at all any more. All of those companies will either be sold off or else handed down to whatever known family remains alive. If they were working for a company then their bosses will not be told anything either. It is highly confidential to keep these people's safety and their whereabouts top secret.

If word gets out that they were still alive and living someplace else, all of their lives and new identities could end up a total loss and they may die.

By anon92879 — On Jun 30, 2010

@Anon44296: In response to your questions: Once the people are taken from their present environment, they are then relocated to a brand new environment to where they can start their new life all over again.

Their belongings that was once theirs from their past are gotten rid of and they start all over with brand new items and a brand new home, apt., duplex, etc. and a brand new job as well.

They live a low key life and are sheltered away from the dangers of their past life and from their families as well. Their families from their past life that they were born into will no longer know who they are or where they are now located at. Once you have a brand new identity, you are deceased to your past life of family and friends, etc.

By anon92872 — On Jun 30, 2010

@Anon51944: In response to your inquiry: Call or go sneak out of the house so that you can go to the police and also go to a safe house immediately. Tell the police and also the advocacy worker who is in the safe house what has been going on with you and that you are forbidden to have use of a car and or friends and what type of illegal activities that your family is doing. Tell the people that you talk within the police department and also the safe house advocate that you fear your life is in dire danger and that you feel that you would best be safest in the WPP (Witness Protection Program.) Then contact your local F.B.I. agency and make an appointment with your F.B.I. agent to meet with you and to discuss what has happened to you and what your family is doing as well.

Then tell them what you want done to help you out. If you want to have the F.B.I. or the C.I.A. to get involved, you have to be willing and able to open up to these people totally. You cannot hold any information back at all.

By anon92869 — On Jun 30, 2010


1. You can either choose your name and surname or have the federals choose your entire name for you. But you must change your entire name, not just the first or the last name, but the entirety of it all.

2. If you choose to let the federals know that you want to choose your own name let them all know that you want a foreign name that way they can take note of it.

If you want to have the federals choose your name all you have to do is let them know that you want a foreign name. They will make sure that you get that changed to your liking.

3. You can choose your own new parents' names, but I wouldn't advise it. It is too complicated to know who is still living or has deceased in that aspect. Let the government choose the parents' names.

4. The government chooses your career choice. But if you have a degree in something that you want to remain in, in that kind of a field of work, then all of your records have to be changed immediately into your new identification.

But if you want to go into another career field, then you have to go about that yourself and pay for it all in your own money. All the government does is to make sure that your new identity doesn't get found out and that you are safe in your new life and your new surroundings.

Once you are taking the form of your new self, then you are deceased to everyone in your past life. Including your family and friends. You are not to have any contact with those people of your past at all. In any way shape or form, for harm could come to all of them including yourself.

By anon92855 — On Jun 30, 2010

My friends family was protected by the WPP, but he left right before so that he wouldn't have to be without his fiance. His father, mother and sisters all got taken away and now have new identities (presumably). What will happen to their houses? What will be told to their bosses? What will happen to the vehicles? What will happen to the companies the owned?

Will the government tell the other relatives that all of that family died?

Please respond soon. We need answers.

By anon92739 — On Jun 30, 2010

I have a few silly and irrelevant questions, but I'm begging to know.

1. Are you able to choose your name? I think I heard that you keep your first name and choose a last name.

2. If you are able to choose a first and/or last name, can you choose an ethnic name? For example, a white guy might want to have a latino name like "Garcia", or a black woman might want a Chinese name, for whatever weird preference. Maybe they want to claim being half of a certain heritage or something.

3. Do you choose your parents' names?

4. If you *completely* changed the way you looked in *every* way, including plastic surgery, and you were now relocated and given your new name, could you "make a name" for yourself in your new location? (for example, becoming a well known lawyer, CEO, singer, actress, etc.?

By anon91266 — On Jun 21, 2010

@anon90115: In response to your post: Your brother will never be out of the WP program ever again, and he will never ever be able to come back to the family at all. Once you are in the program, you are supposed to be considered deceased to your once known family and friends and everyone who was ever in your life once before.

Once they are in the program, you will never ever know of the person's whereabouts and/or their new identity for protection reasons. If they decide to let their family know about where they are or even to let them know their new identity, that could place their life and their families' lives in grave danger all over again.

So it is best to stay out of touch with your brother and let him and your family stay safe and sound at all times.

I know and understand that it is hard to do that and always will be, and that you and the family will greatly miss your brother, but it is and always will be for the best benefit for all of you to do that so that nobody gets hurt.

By anon90115 — On Jun 14, 2010

I have a brother in the witness protection program. He was in jail for five years for conspiracy. After he was out of jail he was immediately taken to the program and it's been four years now. Does anyone know how long is the program? Will he be able to return to the family again? Please give me some answers.

By anon89670 — On Jun 11, 2010


Response: First of all, no one who is in WPP will ever tell someone outside of their extremely tight circle for any reason and they would never want to do something that draws attention to that fact if it were true, especially in some ridiculous personal injury case. I don't believe your employee to be truthful.

And if by some minute chance it were true, you will never get that background info on him because it is sealed for good with the FBI -- if it exists at all anymore.

My grandfather avoids everything and he has kept a very low profile now for decades and decades. I think you are being taken on this one because as I said before no one in this sort of life will *ever* do that. Good luck to you.

By anon89569 — On Jun 10, 2010

The plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit against my company is claiming that he is in witness protection and cannot give me his prior names.

The problem is that we need to find out if he has ever been injured in the past (presumably under his former names). First of all, I don't believe he was ever in witness protection. Nevertheless, if he was, is there any way to get this type of background information? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

By anon87717 — On Jun 01, 2010

That is so true. Never ever write an autobiography because you would never ever know the exact truth and/or what to write in that book. You could say and write a thousand words, and then come to find out everything was not correct or else it was another lie (story) about what truly has happened in that person's life and past.

By anon84482 — On May 16, 2010

Never write an autobiography.

By anon76528 — On Apr 10, 2010

How does one know if one's spouse is in Witsec? If the person met someone while in Witsec and married someone, would the spouse know about it? In other words, if the person was in Witsec, met someone while in witsec and married them, would that new spouse know about it?

I married a man who allegedly took on his grandmother's maiden name, is part Indian and has not had contact with his family for over 40 years and keeps giving me stories.

By anon74900 — On Apr 04, 2010

No, once a person is in the Witness Protection Program or WPP they do not notify your parents or family for a proper burial. Once you are in the Program, your family is no longer a part of you or your present or future.

You are dead to your family that you have been born into. They will no longer know who you are and will not know if you are still around at all. As far as your family is concerned, you are dead. You take on a brand new life and a brand new identity. You are not known to anyone in your past any more at all.

By anon73747 — On Mar 29, 2010

If a person is in the witness program, If they passed away, would the family be notified, to have a proper burial?

By anon69679 — On Mar 09, 2010

how could you know if someone you know is in the program? i have theory that someone i know is in it. i will not say any names so that they will not have to relocate again.

By prncs0312000 — On Jan 12, 2010

I have been involved with some people that have threatened my life and those in my family as well. I have been contacted by the F.B.I. itself and they have been working with me since 2007. I have been taken by the F.B.I. for a lot of money and they still have not helped me to get my identity changed or my ssn or new birth certificate.

I have paid the F.B.I. to date in the amount of $3,850.00 for them to do this all for me. I still have not gotten any of my new paperwork or documents at all. I am also told that in order to finish off my case and to get all of my paperwork completed that I still need to pay them the lump sum of $1,200.00 just for them to send me all of my paperwork. Whoever heard of people having to pay the F.B.I.? I never have.

Anyhow, I want to be able to get on with my life and I cannot do that at all yet. I was told back in August 2009 that I was now paid in full and that I didn't owe any more money, but now that the few months have passed they now want even more money from me. I cannot pay it at all since I am disabled and not working and also just finished having major back surgery so that I can continue to walk for the rest of my life.

What should I do? I was told that since the Agent has an attitude problem with me for being angry with me for me getting mad at him for asking for more money and accusing him of scamming me of my money that he doesn't want to help me any more. My agent had told me that, "He made me and so that he can break me." In other words he would kill me if I did something else of accusation towards him. I have enough problems from him not getting me my paperwork and new identity. Why should I be killed for something that I paid off to him and he hasn't done for me? I am truly scared and not sure what else to do.

I have filed a report against him and the F.B.I. agency still has not contacted me at all about this matter at hand and also. He is one of the men in charge at the Los Angeles CA. F.B.I. Agency. I tried to call him and someone by the code name of Z105 answered the phone and covered for him.

I can't even talk with my agent at all no matter if it is life or death or anything. And he told me that if I ever needed him to call and he would be there for me, but apparently he is not there for me at all.

So, people, please be very wary of anything to do with the F.B.I. Agents that are supposed to be there to help you out at all cost and time. As of right now, I am sitting here in limbo waiting to be able to get my new name changed on my license and degrees etc., and it has not been on the move at all for me.

Please also never ever send any money to them at all since their help is free and never costs us anything at all. They are not supposed to charge anyone anything at all.

By Injuryd — On Dec 27, 2009

i met a girl and have become close to her over a few years, and she just broke the news to me that she is in the WPP, and has been for years. Is it possible that I will ever be able to see her or be with her?

By anon51944 — On Nov 10, 2009

How and who can i talk with about me being in a situation where I'm not allowed to have friends or access to a car for help. I'm very scared and have no one to help me! my family are the ones who are doing illegal activities. please someone help me soon! I'm in Texas.

By anon49994 — On Oct 25, 2009

I'm just curious: is there any possible way for a witness in the program to get out of the program?

By anony4589 — On Sep 20, 2009

To anon44296: I will answer your questions if I can. I believe all belongings are destroyed or thrown out. I really don't know on that one. But, I do know you keep the name they give you in the program and get a job and live a low key life. My grandfather drove a truck for 40 years and moved the family several places in the country. I have been considering contacting him again to ask some questions I have. He is 85 years old and I would like to know some things from him personally. Please respond if you have more questions.

By anony4589 — On Sep 20, 2009

To anon44296, I really don't know; my guess is everything is thrown away or destroyed. But I do know that after you leave the program you just start over; you will keep the name the program gives you and just go on. My grandfather was a truck driver for forty years so he was never in the same place; he was always on the road. Always changing homes from certain states. It is a real fear and a huge burden to come from a family like that. I really feel that I have no true identity. I asked him the one and only time I spoke to him 4 or 5 years ago about our family name(s). he refused to answer my questions; said it was something that happened a hundred years ago and should be left alone. He is a liar and a killer bottom line. But I cannot tell you what I would give to know the entire truth and to know about my heritage on his side of the family, I don't even know his real first name or his true age. I have been thinking of contacting him; he is (supposedly) 85 years old and I may never get the opportunity to ask again. I would be willing to answer all questions you have if I can.

By anon45313 — On Sep 15, 2009

I have had death threats to my family from Irish mafia supposed family members. Nothing was ever taken into serious consideration and I am still being assaulted seasonally. Appearantly this program only will protect criminals.

By anon44296 — On Sep 06, 2009

I'm doing an assignment.

What happens to their belongings after they move from their house? How do they go back to everyday life after the program?

I have these questions and i can't find any answers on it. Please help me.

By anony4589 — On Aug 26, 2009

I am a granddaughter of a man who was in the witness protection program; he left it years ago. I don't know why. I was told he contributed to an organized hit and it culminated with him snitching to save his own hide with the feds. I was told my entire life about never telling anyone who we are or they will come after us. I have no ties to anyone in my family at all. I would like to know if I really need to worry that the ones he betrayed will find him and lead to me and others in the family. My mother said that they will kill anyone that he would care about and then finish him off. I have changed my first name and am now married (to a cop), but I don't know how diffiult it is for those bad types of people to figure things out. I heard one man who has been around the "wiseguys" say that the grudges are passed down through the generations and the names of those that ratted them out on anything are remembered and kept alive until if ever it can be "settled". It's difficult to come from a family with that kind of history. I can't even do a family tree on my father's side of the family and know about my grandfather's family - it goes to a complete stop at my grandfather; everything is just erased. You feel completely manufactured in that life; you know everything about yourself is mostly a lie and and no one in my husband's family even knows about my father's family history. I can tell you that when one leaves the program neither you nor your family are protected an longer. Some leave the program because they feel that they could probably do a better job to hide out than to rely on the feds. Hiding out in public seems to work thus far for my grandfather.

By anon38533 — On Jul 27, 2009

The program is to keep those safe from harm. When you call the FBI or State Attorney they all will give the same answer "Call you on what I find." The u.s marshal service will sometimes visit those who continue to pry for answers. It may be best to leave those alone in the program. lives are quickly destroyed by us. that's why we vanish or our deaths are staged. think: would you want to be associated with someone in the WPP? We sometimes cause more harm then good and then lives are forever changed by just a call or a friend or ex trying to get answers.

By anon28328 — On Mar 14, 2009

You can still be subpoenaed under your new identity.

Are you talking about if they were to witness a murder after they were put into the program or before?

And what do you mean by legally protected?

By anon25807 — On Feb 03, 2009

If a person in the witness protection program commits a crime under their new identity, not assumed identity(you are given a new name, ssn, birth certificate, and background) you can get prosecuted.

The federal witness protection program really protects you with a new identity and relocation. I don't personally know if they would do plastic surgery. You can't go back to your old identity even if the person or people who were after you are deceased.

By anon21426 — On Nov 16, 2008

a long time close friend emailed me several days ago and said they were in the witness relocation program and i would never hear from them again. suddenly today i got a call from them. they told me the general area they were in and their new name and the reason they were moved there. they also said the people or persons that were after them had gotten into their email and all their friends and family were at risk, including me. part of me is scared to death, part of me thinks this is too outlandish to believe. b/c this is the weekend, everywhere i have called, the fbi, the deputy chief for witness security, and the federal marshals are all closed and, sorry, out of luck! call back tomorrow! i find it even more outlandish that none of them work on the weekend! any suggestions that can help me verify if they are being truthful or a liar? thank you

By writeTHISway — On Sep 26, 2008

question put more editorially is - does someone in the federal witness protection program have immunity for future prosecutorial crimes or testimony?

By lilliths — On May 04, 2008

To what extent will the federal government go to hide/protect/change a persons identity in the program? Plastic surgery, feign death........how far?

By writeTHISway — On Feb 14, 2008

I'm working on a book. My question is this...

How legally protected is someone in the Witness Protection Program?

If that person witnessed a murder, while using his assumed identity, can he still be subpoenaed?

That is the theme of my book for, which I am currently doing research, whereby attorneys are arguing for and against this witness being subpoenaed for a trial in which he witnessed the murder of a prominent judge.

Please advise and thanks in advance.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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