The vast majority of the British public knew Jimmy Savile as an eccentric, yet highly regarded, former TV children's show presenter and charity fundraiser. Savile's career began in 1958 as a DJ for Radio Luxembourg. In 1968 he joined BBC Radio 1, where he presented Savile's Travels. From 1969 to 1973 he fronted Speakeasy, a discussion programme for teenagers. In 1964, he began presenting the first edition of the BBC music chart television programme Top of the Pops. Savile also hosted other BBC television programs, the most notable of which was children's show Jim'll Fix It, which he presented from 1975 to 1994. Because of the nature of the programs he hosted and his high-profile charity work, throughout his career, Savile was surrounded by children of different ages.
Mark Williams-Thomas is the detective-turned-reporter who first publicly exposed Jimmy Savile as a prolific sex offender in early October 2012 on the ITV program Exposure. William-Thomas, who is currently making a second program that will further investigate Savile's abuses, recently stated that the evidence he has gathered suggests that Savile engineered his entire career so that he could molest youngsters:
"In the previous programme it was unclear what came first," he said. "But I can very clearly tell you now that he created his television series as a vehicle for his offending.
"I believe he engineered his programmes within the BBC and Radio Luxembourg in order to gain access to children.
"The classic examples are Top of the Pops, Savile's Travels, Jim'll Fix It - all of them gave him access to young children. That's why there were so many victims."
In the weeks since the Exposure program was aired, dozens of individuals who claim they were abused in some way by Savile have come forward. Police have stated that Savile may have sexually abused up to 300 children over his 40-year career. The abuse took place at a children's home patronized by Savile and others, on outside broadcasts, at hospitals, etc. In addition, many of the abused children (now adults) have claimed that they were molested and assaulted by Savile and other BBC celebrities on BBC premises. Former and current BBC presenters and employees have stated that during Savile's heyday at the BBC, many people at the corporation were aware of Savile's molestation of children but that it was rationalised away as 'Jimmy just being Jimmy'. Another BBC star, '70s singer 'Gary Glitter', was convicted in the UK 1997 for downloading child pornography, and in Vietnam in March 2006 for 'obscene acts' with two girls aged 11 and 12 and jailed. Glitter returned to London in August 2008 after his release from prison. In 2009 Savile defended Glitter by saying: "If you said to that copper, what's Gary Glitter done wrong? Well nothing really. He's just sat at home watching dodgy films."
Savile's star status combined with his universally lauded charity fundraising (he raised -40 million over the years) made him 'untouchable' in his own words. It also gave him full access to the hospitals, children's homes and other institutions that benefited from his fundraising work. For example, Savile had his own bedroom at Stoke Mandeville hospital and the freedom of Leeds General Infirmary. The evidence to date suggests that Savile was using this open access to hospitals to prey on mentally and physically disabled children. Several doctors have also been implicated. Last month, a disabled woman, Caroline Moore, said that in 1971, when she was 13, Savile had forcibly "shoved his tongue down [her] throat" while she was sitting in her wheelchair following an operation. Another woman, June Thornton, described witnessing a serious sexual assault on another patient she believed to be brain damaged.
regular visitor at least one such home, Bryn Estyn, along with several other 'high-profile' individuals, including two former members of the Conservative party. Keith Gregory was just 11 years old when he was placed in Bryn Estyn. The horror he witnessed inside the care home included gang rape, strip searches and vicious canings. Children would be taken from their beds at night and driven to hotels where they would be raped, or gang raped, by adult men, and then returned to their beds sobbing. "One particular night that I always recall is when I was basically raped, tied down and abused by nine different men," one victim said. Other victims of the children's homes have named former ex-Tory MP Sir Peter Morrison - Margaret Thatcher's Parliamentary Private Secretary - and at least one other top conservative politician, as being involved in the abuse. Keith Gregory has stated that he knows of at least 12 people who were abused at Bryn Estyn who committed suicide as a result.
A government investigation (the Waterhouse inquiry) into the physical and sexual abuse of children in care homes in Clwyd and Gwynedd, North Wales, including the Bryn Estyn children's home at Wrexham, between 1974 an 1990 was conducted and published in 2000. The report made recommendations to improve the functioning of the homes, but all of the names of individuals accused of abuse were kept secret.
Savile has also been linked to the appalling abuse of children at the Haut de la Garenne children's home in Jersey in the UK Channel Islands. Children there were raped and tortured in the most horrible ways. 'Dungeons' on the premises containing bones have been discovered. Children were regularly treated to 'boat trips' where rich and influential people would rape them. Savile tried to sue the Sun newspaper when they linked him to abuse there but he was later forced to admit he had been a visitor when a picture of him at the home surrounded by children was published.
The Haut de la Garenne home was the subject of a police investigation started in 2007 by Graham Power, then the chief officer, but was suspended after he complained of political interference. In 2011, Leah McGrath Goodman, an American journalist, claimed that she was banned from re-entering either the United Kingdom or the Island and Bailiwick of Jersey for a period of two years, while in the middle of undertaking research on the abuse allegations.
Savile also managed to get his own set of keys to Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital. He also had a bedroom and was on friendly terms with inmate Peter Sutcliffe, a serial killer dubbed 'the Yorkshire Ripper', who was convicted of murdering 13 women and attempting to murder seven others between 1975 and 1980. During the investigation that eventually led to Sutcliffe's arrest in 1981, police had not only questioned Savile as a suspect because he had been mentioned by Sutcliffe in an interview, but had taken a cast of his teeth to compare to bite marks on the victims' bodies. Two of Sutcliffe's victims, coincidentally, were found a few hundred yards from Savile's home.
"A lot of us took the view that Savile would not be a natural habitue of a club that has counted Sir Winston Churchill, Lord Palmerston and Lord Curzon as members, but the fact is we had no choice ..."The reason other members had no choice was because Archbishop Hume threatened to resign his membership if Savile were not approved as a member. Why would an Archbishop insist that someone like Savile be made a member of an exclusive Pall Mall gentleman's club? Of relevance may be the fact that the good Archbishop was involved in 'hushing up' a sexual-abuse scandal at Ampleforth College in 1975. The Yorkshire Post reported in 2005: "Pupils at a leading Roman Catholic school suffered decades of abuse from at least six pedophiles following a decision by former Abbot Basil Hume not to call in police at the beginning of the scandal."