A British Horror Story on Netflix: How Jimmy Savile died and what happened next
He is now known as one of the UK’s most prolific sex offenders in history
Netflix has just released true crime documentary series Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story which examines the case of the disgraced entertainer. After he died in 2011, hundreds of survivors of his abuse came forward to share their stories and he is now believed to be one of the most prolific sex offenders to have ever lived. So you might be wondering how exactly did Jimmy Savile die, and what happened after his death to prompt the investigations into his crimes?
Jimmy Savile was one of the UK’s most beloved TV personalities. He rose to prominence in a career spanning decades in the entertainment industry, had raised millions for charity, been knighted by the Queen and achieved national treasure status before his death. But the world didn’t know he had been fooling everyone for decades. Everywhere he had visited, came allegations of abuse.
CW: Contains details of sexual abuse, including towards children.
How did Jimmy Savile die and what happened next?
Jimmy Savile died on October 29th 2011. He was found at his penthouse home in Roundhay, West Yorkshire, two days before his 85th birthday. His cause of death was listed as pneumonia and was not suspicious. His nephew, Roger Foster, said at the time he had “passed away quietly in his sleep during the night”. He had been in hospital with pneumonia for a short time before.
He was questioned a number of times during his career, but was able to get away with his crimes. A mixture of his high celebrity status and police failings are blamed for him going undetected for so long, and allowing many victims to think nobody would believe them if they came forward. There were seven investigations into him prior to his death, but police couldn’t connect the dots and struggled without the national crime database – which came into operation in 2010.
There had been public rumours about his crimes before his death, with Savile appearing in a documentary with Louis Theroux in 2000 and acknowledging the rumours about him being a paedophile, but denying it. Since his death in October 2011, a string of official inquiries have been launched into his offending at hospitals, schools and the BBC. After his death, more and more people started coming forward saying they had been abused by Jimmy Savile.
In 2011, the scandal fully broke. In the years following, hundreds of allegations were made against Saville. In 2011 Surrey police confirmed it had investigated “a historic allegation of indecent assault…alleged to have occurred at a children’s home in Staines in the 1970s”. In 2012, the Metropolitan Police launched a formal criminal investigation, called Operation Yewtree, into historic allegations of child sexual abuse by Savile and other individuals. In 2013, Scotland Yard labelled Savile a “prolific, predatory” sex offender after its investigation revealed 214 criminal offences between 1955 and 2009.
Countless TV shows were made about the allegations, including an ITV Exposure programme in 2011, a Panorama special on the BBC in 2011 and Channel 5 documentary National Treasure, National Disgrace this year. There is also an upcoming BBC drama about the case. There are now believed to have been over 500 reports of abuse against Savile and he is widely known as one of the most prolific sex offenders there has ever been in the UK.
Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.