Alex Mayyasi has a great article on the history of the Witness Protection Program at Priceonomics.com.
Mayyasi describes the program a being one of three major factors — the RICO Act and the use of wiretapes being the others — in beating the Mafia.
Mayyasi writes that U.S. Marshals have relocated 8,500 witnesses since the program formally began in 1971 and that no one who has stayed in the program has been killed.
He says family roots have sprung from the program.
“I know witnesses who had children, and now they’re grandparents,” he quotes one employee as saying. “I doubt their grandchildren have a clue about their grandparents’ past.”