The Witness was originally a police-officer from Chicago who accidentally shot an innocent man while on duty. He was subsequently arrested and placed in prison to serve a sentence of two years. After he got out of prison, things became even worse. He could not return to the police force and was unable to get another job. Living on the streets, the Witness could no longer live with himself and commited suicide. He, however, did not die. A mysterious voice told him that it was not yet his time and instructed him that his new task would be to observe people's tragedies before they happen. He will judge whether or not the person deserves to be saved from their coming tragedy or if he should merely witness the event and let it unfold, which generally involves the death of the victim. At some point after gaining these powers, The Witness was drafted by the US Army to fight the Nazis and did so until he was captured and placed in stasis at the end of the war. When he was revived 60 years later, it seems that he still has his abilities and is seemingly unaffected by the change in era.