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

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Rafael Nadal is down and out, beaten by Dustin Brown at Wimbledon – but an era is not thereby ended  

Sad as it is, Rafael Nadal's decline does not mark the end of tennis's golden era

Tom Peck
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test