Sir Jimmy Savile died in 2011. He was knighted in 1990. A knight is a person granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch or other political leader for service to the monarch or country, especially in a military capacity. He was made a Knight Commander of St Gregory the Great by Pope John Paul II for his charity work. It is one of the highest awards the Pope can bestow. This was at the height of the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal still raging today, gone underground, throughout the world.
In September and October 2012, almost a year after his death, allegations that the British Broadcasting Corporation television presenter James Wilson Vincent “Jimmy” Savile, an English Disc Jockey, television presenter, media personality and charity fundraiser had sexually abused under age adolescent and prepubescent girls and boys, and adults, became widely publicized.
By 11 October 2012 allegations had been made to 13 British police forces, and led to the setting up of inquiries into practices at the BBC, and within the National Health Service, the publically funded health care system of England.
On 19 October the Metropolitan Police Service the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement in Greater London launched a formal criminal investigation, Operation Yewtree, a police investigation into alleged sexual abuse, predominantly the abuse of children, by the British media personality Jimmy Savile and others (sic), some of the victims whom are still living, over four decades later.
The police stated that they were pursuing over 400 separate lines of inquiry, based on evidence of 200 witnesses, via 14 police forces across the UK comparable to Roger Cardinal Mahoney’s Los Angeles diocese scandal. They described the alleged abuse as being “on an unprecedented scale”, and the number of potential victims as “staggering”. Los Angeles diocese alone exceeded over 400 victims, clerical predators in the hundreds, over half a century of abuse, with settlements over $700,000 million.
By 19 December, eight people had been questioned as part of the investigation. The Metropolitan Police stated that the total number of alleged victims was 589, of who 450 alleged abuse by Savile.
The report of the investigations undertaken jointly by the police and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was published, as “Giving Victims a Voice”, on 11 January 2013. It reported allegations over a period of over fifty years, under the reign Benedict XVI, Bd. John Paul II, Servant of God John Paul I, Ven. Paul VI, Bd. John XXIII and Ven. Pius XII. And did they not know? This report included 214 crimes by Savile, some involving children as young as eight and including 34 crimes of rape or penetration. Offences took place at 13 hospitals as well as on BBC premises. The period of abuse stretching from 1955 to 2009, with the ages of victims at the time of the assaults ranging from 8 to 47
Much of Savile’s career involved working with children and young people, including visiting schools and hospital wards. He spent 20 years presenting “Top of The Pops”, a British music chart television program before a teenage audience. He raised an estimated £40 million for charities. Does this remind us of Penn State football? Is it reminiscent of The Legion of Christ, the derelict Marcial Maciel Degollado?
He spent another 20 years presenting “Jim’ll Fix It”, a long-running British television show, broadcast by the BBC between 1975 and 1994. It was devised and presented by Jimmy Savile and produced by Roger Ordish, who must claim plausible deniability, and encouraged children to write in to have their wishes granted. Jimmy Savile helped the wishes of viewers, mainly children, come true.
During his lifetime, two police investigations had looked into reports about Savile with the earliest known being in 1958, but none had led to charges; he made too much money for that culture, the reports had each concluded that there was insufficient evidence for any charges to be brought related to sexual offences, the omerta of the Church sexual abuse scandal.
In October 2012 it was announced that the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, would investigate why proceedings against Savile in 2009 were dropped. This was almost the legacy bequeath to Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno.
There is public testimony from victims coming forward today as this essay is penned. The great, very great irony here is that, as with the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts of America, Penn State Athletic program, and the American Public Educational System, there was and is always the “good people” who knew and did nothing and they were countless and they shall not be blameless.