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Private investigator who exposed Jimmy Savile explains how he did it

Ali Condon

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Private investigator who exposed Jimmy Savile explains how he did it

The private investigator who managed to expose Jimmy Savile as a paedophile has explained how he managed to do it.

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Only after his death in 2011 was it made known that former radio DJ Jimmy Savile was a prolific child sex abuser.

Former police detective Mark Williams-Thomas was the man behind the 2012 ITV documentary The Other Side of Jimmy Savile that exposed the TV personality.

After deciding to leave the police force, Williams-Thomas became a private investigator and, upon making some contacts in the TV world, he caught wind of the rumours surrounding Savile - prompting him to launch the investigation that exposed the Jim'll Fix It star.

It was a TV producer who first asked Williams-Thomas if he had heard anything about Savile being 'a predatory paedophile', which, at the time, he hadn't.

Mark Williams-Thomas has explained how he exposed Jimmy Savile.  Credit: Alamy
Mark Williams-Thomas has explained how he exposed Jimmy Savile. Credit: Alamy

After deciding to look into it, Williams-Thomas found that Savile had been investigated over sexual abuse allegations once before, back in the 1970s by Surrey Police.

Williams-Thomas did some more digging and soon started to realise that there were 'a lot of people out there who had been talking about him online.'

He explained: "One of the things about being an investigator is: talk to everybody. And when you talk to them, say: 'Is there anybody else I need to talk to?'"

When he did that, Williams-Thomas started to track down a range of different survivors and slowly managed to 'build up a picture that he [Savile] had sexually abused quite a number of children'.

Mark worked with ITV to produce a Jimmy Savile exposé in 2012. Credit: Paul Harness/Alamy Stock Photo
Mark worked with ITV to produce a Jimmy Savile exposé in 2012. Credit: Paul Harness/Alamy Stock Photo

Williams-Thomas first brought the story to BBC Newsnight, but the team eventually declined 'quite simply because they decided that the police had carried out their investigation correctly, there wasn't any criticism to be applied to them, that they knew of, and therefore, there wasn't a story in it'.

The former family liaison officer noted that, at his peak, Savile was 'probably the most well-known, famous individual, as far as television goes, in the country', meaning that, to broadcasters, he was 'untouchable'.

After gathering even more evidence and victims' stories, Williams-Thomas brought it to ITV, and though they were 'incredibly nervous' at first, he managed to convince the broadcaster to air the exposé.

"As the evidence started to build up and we got stronger and stronger, we said: 'we have to get this out there, we have to let the public decide.'"

Williams-Thomas' documentary eventually went to air in 2012 and, initially, was met with an extremely mixed response.

Though the true scale of Savile's horrific abuse – spanning six decades and involving hundreds of survivors – was brought to light thanks to Williams-Thomas, Savile died in 2011 at the age of 84, so he was never brought to justice.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence regarding the welfare of a child, contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000, 8am–10pm Monday to Friday, 9am–6pm weekends. If you are a child seeking advice and support, call Childline for free on 0800 1111

Featured Image Credit: LADbible TV

Topics: News, Crime, UK News

Ali Condon
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