So just how evasive did Savile have to be before the police woke up?

Interviews with the DJ show a man intent on avoiding the question

Share

The UK police are accused of many things at the moment, and here’s another one: missing the blindingly  obvious. Read the just-published transcript of the interview that Surrey police conducted with Jimmy Savile in 2009, and you marvel at the heinous incuriosity shown by the officers, while Savile weasels his way to and fro.

His default position was to maintain that he has “never, ever done anything wrong” in his whole life – a mission statement of self-delusion that should have warned his questioners. Even before the police got started, he blabbed that he’d been accused of “just about everything… I’ve had so much of it in 50 years, it started in the 1950s,” and said the accusations were always “a bit of blackmail”. Might not the cops have spotted that accusation, wrongdoing and guilt were at the forefront of his mind? Might not they have asked, and kept on asking, exactly what he’d been accused of for half a century?

Look at Savile’s reply when accused of asking a girl at Duncroft children’s home for oral sex: “There’s no chance for anything that you described to happen, ‘cos there’s never less than 30-40 people, all milling around, and so you can’t do things like you’ve just suggested.” Could the police not have jumped in and asked, “But if there were fewer people around, you’d have done it?” A similarly direct question scuppered Oscar Wilde at his trial for homosexuality in 1895: when asked if he’d kissed a certain boy, he replied, “Oh no, he was a very ugly boy…” But on Savile goes, insisting he never French-kissed a child – always saying that with 40 people around, it was “out of the question,” rather than saying “No.”

The climax of the interview is a tirade of threat (about how he’s got “friends” in legal circles, how “my people can book time at the Old Bailey”) and of self-justification that sounds utterly threadbare. He blurts out a classic non-sequitur when apparently talking to himself about chasing girls: “No need to take liberties with them, out of the question and anyway it’s not my nature, because all my life I’ve been a semi-pro athlete with 216 marathons, over 300 professional bike races…” And it ends with another classic evasion: “It’s complete fantasy, it really really is, and neither thing was at a place where you could get away with what they said you’ve got away with…”

I know hindsight makes everything clearer, but really. Did the police need a lie detector, a Freudian psychiatrist or John Humphrys to detect that their man was squirming with guilt? Or just special visors to protect against the dazzle of celebrity?

Steve Jobs, a role model no more

“If I look to any company as a role model, it’s Apple,” said Angela Ahrendts, back in 2010. I’m not sure every Mac-user will take company co-founder Steve Jobs as a role model, after the revelations in a new book, The Bite in the Apple: A Memoir of My Life With Steve Jobs by ex-girlfriend Chrisann Brennan. It’s not just that he believed he was a reincarnated Second World War fighter pilot (haven’t we all thought that, some time?); what shocks me is his treatment of his daughter, Lisa. He dumped her mother when she was pregnant and for years denied (even in court) he was Lisa’s father. When asked why the Apple Lisa computer was so named, he said it stood for “Local Integrated Software Architecture.” That casual appropriation of her name, while denying the girl’s existence – seriously, how chilly and unfeeling a geek would you have to be?

Twitter: JohnHenryWalsh

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The landslide vote for gay marriage takes Irish society further away from the Vatican  

Ireland gay marriage: Church's decision not to lead No campaign recognised remarkable new reality

Paul Vallely
New SNP MP Mhairi Black distinguished herself in Westminster straight away when she made herself a chip butty in the canteen  

The SNP adventure arrives in Westminister - but how long before these new MPs go native?

Katy Guest
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?