Crime, Law, recent

The Many Lies of Carl Beech

On July 22, a two month trial at the Newcastle Crown Court ended with the conviction of Carl Beech on 12 counts of perverting the course of justice, and one of fraud. A seemingly unremarkable NHS manager, Beech had spun a web of falsehoods naming numerous men—alive and dead—from the world of politics, the army, and the security services, of murder and mind-bogglingly dreadful acts of child sexual abuse. Millions of pounds were spent by the Wiltshire and Metropolitan Police investigating his claims, and then millions more by the Northumbria Police, proving that they were false. To make matters even worse, it emerged during his trial that Beech had pleaded guilty in January to spying on children for his own sexual gratification, and had made and stored hundreds of indecent images of children.

A man whose story had convinced the Metropolitan Police’s finest detectives, a number of MPs, journalists, and anti-abuse campaigners was finally proven to be a fraudster, a liar, and a paedophile. He will be sentenced tomorrow and can expect to spend many years in prison. [Update: On July 26, Beech was sentenced to 18 years.]

This had all started with the death of Sir Jimmy Savile eight years earlier…

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Savile will need no introduction to British readers. For those less familiar with the arcana of British popular culture, it is enough to record that his death in 2011 produced uniformly hagiographic obituaries that would have made St Theresa of Calcutta blush. When Savile had not been on television, he had been visiting the sick in hospitals and raising huge sums of money for charity. Then, within a few months of his death, allegations started to emerge that he had abused children and women on a vast scale. Because he was now dead, none of these allegations were ever tried in court. But a press that had showered him with adoration while he was alive now turned on him with the vengeful fury of a betrayed lover.

The Guardian spoke, unusually, for the majority when it ran an extraordinary editorial comparing him to Pol Pot, and calling for a public ceremony of commination, as “a ritual expression of public condemnation and disgust.” The institutions with which he had been associated—mainly hospitals and the BBC—fell over themselves to apologise for his behaviour. Accounts of Savile’s wickedness were collated in various official reports and they were all accepted, without question, by a media now as indignant about his criminality as it had been fulsome in its praise. Anyone—and there were a few—who dared to question so much as a single individual account was considered beyond the pale, even though some of the allegations against him bordered on the incredible.

And, of course, there was the money. Lots of money. Millions of pounds were paid out in compensation, first from Savile’s relatively modest personal estate, then from the BBC and the NHS. For those unable to ascribe blame to either the BBC or the NHS, there was always the option of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, a fickle and imperfect quango which awards or refuses government compensation to the victims of crime. It almost always gets it wrong: it pays far too little to those genuinely injured, it often refuses to pay anything at all for quixotic reasons, and it sometimes fails to identify fraudsters.

Carl Beech, meanwhile, was living a quiet, even a rather dull, life. After a brief career as an estate agent, he worked as a nurse, specialising—somewhat creepily in the light of subsequent events—in paediatrics. He obviously impressed his employer, and rose to become a Staff Nurse, working (amongst other places) in Brighton, Swindon, Birmingham, and Hereford before moving into hospital management. He married, had children, and settled down in a village near Gloucester.  He became an inspector for the Care Quality Commission, earning a respectable £55,000 salary. His first literary venture, Nurse Nurse, was self-published in 2006 under the pseudonym “Lucy Samuels.” Readers were promised “a hilarious account of what it is like to work as a nurse in the NHS.” Sadly, it was neither a critical nor a commercial success, and what we now know about the author renders his personal guarantee that “everything (yes everything) in this book is true” worthless.

Then Jimmy Savile died. A year after his death, on October 3, 2012, ITV broadcast a documentary entitled The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, which accused him of serious sex crimes. Three weeks later, Carl Beech complained to Wiltshire Police that he and a childhood friend from Bicester called “Aubrey” had been abused as children by a number of people he called “The Group.” The only participants he was prepared to name were his dead step-father, Major Raymond Beech, and Savile. “Everything hit the press,” he would explain in court. “People were coming forward and I felt guilty for not doing it earlier. I don’t know if people are alive or not now, I suppose it’s a bit late. I thought if other people can, I can.” That last remark, at least, was undoubtedly correct. Over the course of the next six years, his claims developed until he was describing a kind of debauchery among Britain’s ruling class reminiscent of the court of the Emperor Caligula.

Wiltshire Police treated the investigation into his claims as “an off-shoot of Operation Yewtree”—the huge investigation into Savile’s associates that ultimately yielded very few convictions of any sort, even fewer safe convictions, and a number of demonstrably false allegations against other public figures. Even though the only two people Beech had named were dead, the Wiltshire Police did their best to corroborate his claims. When they were unable to do so, the inquiry was dropped. No action was taken against Beech. No doubt the allegations were filed away in 2014 as “unsolved child sexual abuse” in the Wiltshire police archives. (A few years later, Wiltshire Police were to draw upon this experience of investigating dead men with a far more high profile and expensive investigation into the even more comprehensively dead Sir Edward Heath, with exactly the same result.)

The conclusion of the Wiltshire Police inquiry did not bring Carl Beech’s activities to an end. Quite the opposite. Armed now with a crime number, he made an application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. The application was entirely fraudulent, of course, but that did not prevent him receiving £22,000 compensation two years later. The delay, however, annoyed him, and led him to write petulant letters. He said he needed it to pay his counselling fees, which would turn out to be another lie—when the compensation eventually arrived, he spent it all on a long-coveted white Ford Mustang convertible.

Beech began to promote himself on social media. He opened an account on Twitter (now deleted) with the handle @carl_survivor, and posted regular blogs about his abuse by “The Group.” His supposedly true stories of nursing had not been well received, but his supposedly true stories of child abuse were lapped up. He even contributed—as “Stephen”—to a TV documentary about Jimmy Savile. Mr Savile, he told the credulous reporter:

… was just sadistic in what he wanted to do and what he wanted other people to do. Yeah. Just evil and enjoyed seeing pain inflicted and humiliation, I suppose. It was hard to comprehend because you know who it is when you’re sat watching TV and he’s on the TV and, you know, it’s just a really strange feeling. I think all of us were just objects, the best way I can describe it is like sweets in a bag that you hand round and share. We meant nothing, nothing at all.

Amid a smörgåsbord of confusing pseudonyms (as well as “Lucy Samuels,” Beech has variously styled himself “Nick,” “Stephen,” “David,” “Stephen Anderson,” “Sam Williams,” “Carl Andersson,” “Oskar Andersson,” and “Samuel Karlsson”), Beech publicised his allegations on his blog, his Twitter account, and in his execrable poetry, over-generously described by Richard Bartholomew as “misery memoir blurb channelled through William McGonagall”:

They came in the night and they came in the day,
Myself and my friend were always their prey.

(One of the few successes, albeit unintended, of the subsequent Metropolitan Police investigation into his claims was that it silenced Beech’s muse, one hopes, for good.)

Beech might have remained just another anonymous internet crank. He could have enjoyed his Ford Mustang and lived out his days in anonymity, sustained by an online community that constantly told him how courageous he was. Instead, he became involved with an investigative website called ExaroNews.com (the domain now has new owners). His blogs and tweets were seen by journalists from Exaro at a time when the newly created website was struggling to make money charging a monthly subscription fee for reports about corporate bankruptcies. That unexciting business model was failing, and so a complete change of tone was needed. Beech’s lies were what Exaro‘s editors hit upon to propel the site—and Beech himself—into prominence.

Exaro journalist Mark Conrad contacted Beech and started to write up his stories. Soon Exaro was publishing almost nothing but wild tales about paedophile rings in high places. “Nick,” as  Beech became known in Exaro‘s reports, was the shiny, gleaming thoroughbred in their stable of “survivors,” although they promoted other equally implausible eccentrics and chancers. Although the names of living people were not published in the early stages, enough clues were scattered to enable readers to guess the identities of some of those accused. Later on, after Exaro and others published details of police raids, these names would be leaked into the public domain, anyway. According to Mark Watts, Exaro’s editor, Beech was the “bravest and most genial of men.” Others who had dealings with Beech disagreed.

Mark Watts, former editor of Exaro News (YouTube)

One of Beech’s methods was to seize upon internet rumours and to pretend the same thing had happened to him. At other times, he appropriated the real suffering of others for his own ends. Andi Lavery, for example, who had been appallingly abused at a Catholic boarding school, was telephoned by Beech, who tried, as Lavery put it, “to access my memories and try to use my truth and the horrors of my childhood to further his own malodorous ends.” His impression of Beech was blunt: “He is a psychopath.” For his refusal to join the online cult of #IbelieveNick, Lavery was then subjected, like others who publicly doubted Beech, to a tsunami of abuse.

Exaro’s technique was simple: journalist Mark Conrad would show Beech pictures of famous people, and Beech would announce whether the person he was looking at had abused him or not. Exaro described this ludicrous procedure as “a picture test.” Conrad then wrote up whatever Beech told him, and toned down the most ridiculous parts (such as Beech’s claim that former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath had intervened to prevent Conservative MP Harvey Proctor from castrating him with a fruit knife). It was an extraordinary way to operate, and had Beech been a genuine victim—as we must assume Conrad believed him to be—his contamination of any resultant identifications would have caused immense difficulties for any prosecution.

Having trampled all over the evidence in this way, Exaro then introduced Beech to the Metropolitan Police, who named their inquiry into his allegations “Operation Midland.” Instead of investigating Beech’s claims, as might have been expected, the Met went out of its way to promote them. One of its top detectives, Kenny McDonald, notoriously described Beech’s allegations as “credible and true.” It never became entirely clear if McDonald actually believed this or if he was dutifully reciting the official policy that “victims must be believed” no matter how implausible their stories. In any event, he never faced any censure for one of the most irresponsible public statements ever made by a senior police officer, and his boss, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, was subsequently rewarded with a peerage.

Beech repeated and further embellished his stories to Operation Midland. “The Group” had now been expanded to include swathes of people with nothing in common except that his internet searches revealed they had been part of “the establishment.” Conservative Party politicians from the left of the Party (like Sir Edward Heath) were said to have conspired with their bitter political foes from the right, such as Harvey Proctor. Beech claimed he had been tied up and had his bones broken by Generals and Field Marshals. He said that doctors were employed to patch him up after abuse sessions. Wasps and spiders were set upon him. He had been orally and anally raped and subjected to near-drowning. Worst of all, he had witnessed the murder of three boys, two of them at the hands of Harvey Proctor.

The list of innocent people he traduced is very long. Some were dead, like Sir Edward Heath, and the former heads, respectively, of MI5 and MI6, Michael Hanley and Maurice Oldfield. One or two were hounded into an early grave: former Home Secretary Leon Brittan and Labour MP Greville Janner both died after learning of Beech’s allegations but before he was discredited (although Janner’s dementia was probably too far advanced for him to understand what was happening). Two of the men he accused were distinguished D-Day veterans in their ’90s: Field Marshall Lord Bramall and General Hugh Beach. And the more absurd Beech’s allegations became, the more ready people were to believe, enable, and encourage him.

Labour Party Deputy Leader, Tom Watson.

The list of believers, enablers, and encouragers is also a long one, and includes many of the least distinguished men in British public life. Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, took Carl Beech seriously from the moment they met in 2014. Watson described Beech’s allegations as “truly shocking” and was, as Beech would later testify, “part of the little group supporting me and putting my information out there to encourage other people to come forward.” In this, Watson was successful. He did indeed encourage other fantasists and chancers to come forward, and he used his parliamentary voice and privilege to promote Beech’s claims within mainstream political debate. Speaking specifically of Leon Brittan a few weeks after his death, and showing no concern for his bereaved wife, Mr Watson tweeted, “I think I have made my position on Leon Brittan perfectly clear. I believe the people who say he raped them.” One of those people was Beech.

Other MPs, including Simon Danczuk and the Conservative Zac Goldsmith, were also prominent in promoting Beech’s lies. These men spoke about a conspiracy of child abusers as though it were an established fact. Quite what they hoped to gain by hitching themselves to a man like Beech it is hard to know. Perhaps they simply hoped to enhance their reputations as people who had understood the lessons of the Savile scandal and resolved to be uncompromisingly tough on child abuse. Watson now believes that he was one of Beech’s victims, although this requires a rather capacious definition of victimhood.

Nor was Exaro the only news organisation to take Beech’s allegations seriously. Tom Symonds of the BBC conferred a degree of respectability on him by interviewing him uncritically (although, to its credit, the BBC quickly backed off). James O’Brien—a rather sanctimonious presenter on the London radio station LBC, whose new book is unfortunately titled “How To Be Right”—gave a great deal of publicity to Beech’s allegations, and over a much longer period. Following the verdict, O’Brien did not apologise. Instead, he tweeted this:

Beech’s targets were mainly “establishment” figures. Only one, the former Labour MP Greville Janner, was from the Labour Party, and his prominent position within the British Jewish community and his support for Israel made him, like Lord Brittan, a perfect target for the antisemitic agitators who gleefully climbed aboard Beech’s bandwagon.

A Russian government energetically promoting “anti-establishment” movements all over Europe was not about to miss an opportunity like this. George Galloway, used his platform as a presenter on the Russian state broadcaster RT.com to promote Beech’s claims. Galloway’s purpose, and that of RT, was to promote the idea that British politicians—apart from himself, of course—were dissolute and corrupt, in contrast to the fine upstanding people running a free society like that in Russia.

Exaro was funded by Jerome Booth, a successful investor in emerging markets, and supported by Tim Pendry a Tunbridge Wells “reputation management” expert with an interest in transhumanism, who provides advice “primarily … for family offices and high net worth individuals.” One such high net worth individual whose reputation he had once been paid to enhance was Asma al-Assad, wife of the Syrian dictator. Booth and Pendry could have pulled the plug on Exaro (as they eventually did). But, for the time being, neither seemed to care that Mark Watts was regularly on RT and Sputnik publicising Beech’s lies as reliable evidence of an evil British establishment.

In this small way, whether he realised it or not, Carl Beech helped contribute to a general cynicism about politicians that, inter alia, probably assisted the Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum, and has left its mark in British politics in many other ways.

Exaro journalist Mark Conrad’s involvement was not limited to writing up Beech’s lies and introducing him to the police. According to Beech’s evidence at his trial, Conrad also showed him how to access TOR browsing—a useful skill for anyone wanting to buy guns, drugs, or child pornography discreetly—and told him how to set up a Proton email account to facilitate secure communication. As it happened, Beech had no need of a TOR browser. He wasn’t interested in guns or drugs, and, although he was very interested in sexual images of children, he was able to amass his own library of these, partly by the more straightforward method of installing a hidden camera in his toilet. The Proton account, however, did come in handy to produce a fictitious series of email communications from someone he claimed was a fellow victim known as “John.” John was purely imaginary and Beech was cunning enough to compose both sides of the email exchange. He was not, however, clever enough to prevent that fact becoming known to the Northumbrian Police.

Egged on by Exaro, the Metropolitan Police dug itself deeper and deeper into ignominy. Raids on the homes of Lord Bramall, Lady Brittan, and Harvey Proctor were carried out with improperly obtained search warrants, and then publicised almost immediately, either through Exaro or the site’s media partners. Lord Bramall—a nonagenarian D-Day veteran and the carer for his dying wife—had to undergo interrogation while the police turned his house upside down. Proctor, for his part, lost his home and his job as a direct result of the negative publicity.

It was Proctor, in the end, who would finally turn the tables on Beech in August 2015, by the simple expedient of holding a news conference, declaring himself innocent, and revealing the full absurdity of Beech’s allegations. Once exposed to the sunlight of publicity, Operation Midland started to wither. A brilliant BBC Panorama documentary a few weeks later revealed more inconsistencies. Mark Watts had desperately tried to prevent the Panorama broadcast but the BBC had refused to back down. Watts subsequently made this claim on Twitter:

Finally, with the collapse of Operation Midland, Northumbria Police were brought in to investigate Beech himself. His collection of 350 sexual images of children was quickly discovered, and included dozens in the most serious category of abuse. His first response was—as ever—to lie, and to blame other members of his family. Then his other claims began to unravel, as the Northumbrian Police did what the Met had conspicuously failed to do, and started to investigate Beech more closely.

While on bail, he planned an escape to the remote town of Överkalix in northern Sweden. He bought a bed and breakfast there under an alias, which he planned to run with his elderly mother. Having run up sizeable debts with various local craftsmen (including nearly £4,500 for a new bath), his luck finally ran out. Several months later, he was caught, sporting a luxuriant beard and yet another false name, at Gothenburg Station.

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What wider lessons can we draw from this extraordinary story? The first is that liars and fraudsters do exist, and sometimes they pretend to have been the victims of sexual abuse. It is obviously absurd, pace James O’Brien, to presume that everyone alleging sexual abuse is telling the truth.

Second, although Beech’s motives were partly financial, that was not his only, and possibly not even his main motive. After receiving his payout from CICA, he continued with his activity, even though he was not paid to do so. It may be that his own sexual proclivities were titillated by relating graphic stories of child abuse, but it also seems likely that he simply enjoyed the adulation and moral capital he accrued as the poster boy for victims of molestation. (Beech helped to organise “The Wall of Silence,” an exhibition of pictures drawn by abused children which was shown in Bristol and Cardiff, and very nearly shown at the House of Commons).

Third, detecting liars is remarkably difficult. It is impossible to just listen to someone and tell whether they are lying or not. No-one should be better at spotting liars than senior detectives and journalists, yet many of these people were taken in by Beech. Perhaps his stories played to their prejudices, or encouraged them to adopt positions they wished to be seen to hold: that “virtually no one lies about sexual abuse,” or that “the establishment” is made up of wicked people who, as a class, are capable of just about anything. In the police videos, Beech sobbed, murmured, appeared to struggle over the more traumatic aspects of his story, and generally behaved the way one might expect were he the victim of appalling abuse. His internet research enabled him to “remember” seemingly telling details, and to draw—as if from memory—the places where he said abuse had taken place. It was only after meticulous investigation of Beech’s story, interviews with his schoolmates and family, a review of his surviving school records, forensic examination of his computers, and even a medical examination for signs of past injuries or broken bones (there were none), that it could be conclusively proved that Carl Beech was a liar.

Finally, what of Exaro and Mark Watts? The original Exaro has long since collapsed amid mutual recriminations among its former owners and staff. As for Watts, even now this strange and obsessive man is refusing to apologise, or even to accept that Exaro did anything wrong in promoting Beech. Watts did more than anyone to create a monstrous trial-by-internet. He was happy to be used as a tool of Russian propaganda on RT.com. He promoted the character assassination of two distinguished veterans of D-Day. He caused an innocent man to lose his job and his home. Now this same man, who staked his reputation on the word of a convicted liar and fraud, claims to be concerned about the fairness of Beech’s trial, which was conducted in front of a judge and jury according to well-understood rules of evidence and procedure. This is an irony that Watts is probably not yet in a position to appreciate.

 

Matthew Scott is a criminal barrister at Pump Court Chambers and a legal blogger. You can follow him on Twitter @Barristerblog

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73 Comments

    • That actually makes sense, in a limited way. What so many seem to forget is that an accuser is NOT a victim any more than the accused is a criminal. I know there are many who want to change the presumption of innocence – it has already almost disappeared in UK sex crime trials – but it is a very slippery slope into fascism.

  1. markbul says

    Does anyone else see a fatter-faced Newman from Seinfeld?

    • codadmin says

      I’m seeing a thinner faced Michael Moore. Two liars, they may even be releated.

  2. Chris says

    And spare a thought for the poor soul that paid 5 figures for the Jim’ll Fixit chair. Where’s HIS justice??

  3. derek says

    Two comments. First, British criminals are remarkable ordinary and interesting. Our criminals are lowlifes fighting over drugs.

    Second, never believe anything, especially if you read it in some news media. And never believe an accusation, especially if someone will be destroyed by the accusation. Sometimes that are true, because there is corroborating evidence. Interesting that the scheme fell apart when someone dared push back and demand some measure of rational thought.

    Cases where abuse has been covered over were not for lack of evidence but another form of perfidy that is equal to the original soon, that of protecting evil.

  4. northernobserver says

    We will soon relearn what every healthy society has always known, that victims are liars even among those who have been truly victimized the tale of the crime is often wrong, sometimes with tragic consequences. Finding The Truth from victims is a perilous journey through Hell, where even good men and women can be dragged off the straight road and into the swamp of their sentiments, biases and self regard. Trial by jury was invented to help deal with this problem, if one person may fall off the road perhaps 1 in 12 will keep the pilgrims on the path. Anything outside of a trial by jury, experts, the media, even often the police, is just so much ego and supposition. I have long opposed the death penalty, due to the fallible nature of man and the impossibility of correcting errors. But men like Carl Beech test my resolve. What recourse does society have against such fantasists other than the fear of death or the humiliation of public execution. We are defenseless against such easy malevolence. Perhaps our fore bearers were right to treat such evil with the utmost severity even at the cost of occasional error and injustice. I feel much less definitive about the ultimate sanction when reading such false accusation cases.

    • Ray Andrews says

      @northernobserver

      Ironically one of the best arguments for CP is that it galvanizes public demand for actually fair trials because of the consequences. Throw an innocent man in some living hell penitentiary for the rest of his life and it just doesn’t make the papers, but execute him and we all hear about it. It is debatable if the living hell is less of a punishment IMHO, but either way, even when CP is a possible sentence, everyone involved is on their best behavior. If one false execution saves the next ten guys a shitty trial that might ‘only’ result in decades behind bars, then that man did not die in vain.

    • Nick says

      No, there were plenty of actual Savile victims. I heard audio of Savile pressuring a girl into sex and it’s the creepiest most disgusting thing I ever heard.

      • Jonathan Mason says

        Who could have recorded this pornographic audio, the girl or Savile or a third person? I have followed this story for some years, and as far as I know this audio recording has never been mentioned.

        There is an audio out take recording featured in a Channel 4 news report that is available on Youtube, with Savile “flirting” with a young girl that is fairly obnoxious, but was obviously recorded as part of a program in the presence of her parents, but does not involve her being pressured into sex.

  5. Jake Blake says

    Excellent article. This filled in a lot of blanks which I had with the Beech story. Very interesting read.

  6. Harvey Proctor was innocent of Beech’s accusations, yes, but his record made him vulnerable. Did it never occur to the interviewing detectives to ask where these ‘wasps and spiders’ were kept?

    • Harvey Proctors convictions you mention are entitled to be exsponged on application and such convictions were the subject of a State Apolooy. Refering to them in your context is wrong and unjust.

  7. BrainFireBob says

    Why would anyone be surprised reading this?

    1) We glorify victims
    2) There is a personality type that craves attention, power and control
    3) We’re very public with information in this day and age

    Explanatory note on #3: The (fallacious) research that traumatic memories are repressed (the opposite is true: Trauma is crystal clear but the lead-in/lead-out can get scrambled) that was pushed on our police departments, ultimately becoming “believe all victims?” Are there people who honestly think liars don’t have access to this information prior to formulating lies?

    Do people really think shuysters, conmen, narcissists, psychopaths, sociopaths, histrionics- don’t use the internet, only exist in fairy tales, etc.?

    You think every individual who complains of “police over-reach” is telling the truth, and that “the sheer volume of complaints indicates there’s a real issue”? There’s an old saw: The louder a man tells you he’s honest, the tight you should hold to your purse. It doesn’t matter how much noise people make, you should always be aware of what’s in it for them. Shame? We all know people who will “laugh all the way to the bank.” Let’s talk statistics (below)

    And further, we tend to operate in a “one strike and you are out” society- our lawyers, doctors, politicians; their careers are destroyed when they are made a fool publicly supporting this kind of nonsense. Of course they will double-down and only walk things back when there’s an opprobrium-removing mechanism in place (Twitter shaming, as an example).

    So, statistics: Everyone who reads this, listen very carefully to every news story you hear for whether they provide both the percentage and the absolute value of an item.

    Example: Evil health insurance companies make over a billion dollars per anum in profit! Sometimes phrased as something like “They take in over $30 billion/year”- yeah, but they pay out $29 billion.
    Truth: That’s less than 3%, consider an unhealthy margin in most industries, and necessary in case of sudden disasters to keep functioning.
    Did you hear about “percent” profit during the Obamacare debates? Nope.

    Example: Hate crimes are on the rise! The number of hate crimes rose by X%.
    Truth: The number of reporting precincts spiked. You have to normalize vs. the population. If you have 30 crimes reported and 300 people, then you increase your sample size to 900 people, you would expect 90 hate crimes. Reporting that reported hate crimes increased “300%” is also true, but not because crimes increased or reporting increased in a vacuum, but that the sample size spiked.

    I’ve always been shocked at how sloppy television and written news media is about not hiding that they use selective phrasing this way- even if it requires really stilted sentence structure- but I find that many people don’t even notice, even more horrifying.

  8. NashTiger says

    Did anyone ask Beech if Brett Kavanaugh had go at him?

  9. What with the recent Epstein disclosures, it’s getting more and more difficult to paint claims of “pedophilia rings in high place” as out and out ridiculous.

    • LondonBob says

      Yes this article reads very poorly in light of recent events. The author seems oddly obsessed with unfounded Russian conspiracies, normally a sign of misdirection. How low do you have to be to defend Jimmy Saville and Greville Janner.

  10. GregS says

    Third, detecting liars is remarkably difficult.

    No, it is not. It begins by asking very simple questions: who, where, when, what. That is when the liars begin to dance and start telling obvious lies, even when they do not have to lie. By simply verifying those things that can be verified and challenging them on the things that contradict the facts, their stories fall apart.

    Why wasn’t this done with Christine Blasey Ford?

  11. codadmin says

    Johnny Rotten said in 1978 that he’d “like to kill Jimmy Savile”.

    Everyone in the media, including journalists, knew about Saville decades before the scandal was made public.

    So, why was it made public when it was?

    Just weeks before the Savile story broke, another paedophile story broke, but of far greater magnitude. Rotherham.

    Was Jimmy Saville’s sordid tale held back on purpose to ‘minimise’ and deflect attention away from Rotherham?

    Rotherham was, and still is, the biggest child abuse scandal in British history. It exposed the Labour Party, the politically correct institutions, the politically correct media, the politically correct culture, the politically correct journalists, for the grotesque, racist ( anti-white) hypocrites that they are.

    But, you never would have known any of that at the the time, because Rotherham was dominated by Savile.

    Coincidence?

      • codadmin says

        Johnny Rotten: Trying to expose Jimmy Saville in 1978 , over 3 decades before he was exposed

        • Codadmin, you are quite wrong in what you write about Johnny Rotten – though I understand why you would believe it to be true as it has now been repeated so many times that it simply MUST be, mustn’t it? Well, no. It is a factoid.

          The facts (which you can easily check):

          Rotten insulted Savile in an interview.
          Savile was not the only celebrity to be insulted in that interview. It was his schtick. Wild!
          The reason why Rotten had ‘concerns’ was because of Savile’s bulging eyes. Yes, his eyes.
          Rotten himself, somewhat ironically, has distinctive eyes due to a childhood illness.

          Rotten recounted this tale when the ‘Savilisation’ madness started & was assumed by some to have been a kind of sage (which of course he would have had to have been were he to divine a person’s character based on – coughs – eye-volume).

          Rotten falsely claimed to have been ‘banned by the BBC’ over this yet nevertheless continued to appear on it! An absolute lie.

          Unfortunately, Rotten rode the wave of those applauding him for something he had never done & came to repeat the claims that others were making about his incredible prescience (which was curiously never followed up with action during the intervening decades).
          You might feel disappointed by his behaviour – I certainly did.

          In short, Rotten knew nothing / did nothing / lied to the world for applause & prestige.
          Please, check this out if the truth concerns you. If not, enjoy the rest of your life living in Johnny Rotten’s fantasy land of lies.

          God Save The Truth

          • codadmin says

            @Bandani

            Excellent spin. Great rhetorical flourish to end with. All bollocks though.

            Rotten was at the height of his fame at the same time as Saville his. He basically called him a paedophile without saying the words. Libel law prevents people from going further.

            Rotten wasn’t a Nostradamus character. He was crudely expressing what was an open secret for neigh on 50 years in media circles.

    • Misa says

      Whilst he was alive no-one knew anything about him, but many had heard stories and rumours. Some time after he died, everyone suddenly remembered they’d known about him all along.

      The juvenile Jonny Rotten claims he’d like to kill lots of people. Top of his list is Mick Jagger. Pressed to think of more people to kill, he comes up with Jimmy Savile. Jonny says he’s even heard rumours about him! “Ain’t I a bitch, eh, don’t think?”

      Do you also believe this is clear evidence that Jonny Rotten was serious about making a snuff movie?

      That 1978 interview:

      Questioner: Do you [think] you’re gonna make a film?
      Jonny Rotten: Huh?
      Q: Do you th…would you like to make a film?
      JR: Yes. In it I’d like to kill a lot of people.
      Q: How many people?
      JR: Oh, about two hundred. They’d all be famous names. I’d love to kill Mick Jagger on film. But, I bet he’d never do it, because his ego would be deflated, or something absurd.
      Q: Might be good for his public image.
      JR: Yeah.
      Q: So who else is on the list then…on the gonner list?
      JR: Oh, it’s endless. Believe me. It’s easier to list the people I don’t want to kill.
      Q: A serious thing.
      JR: All five of them. Huh, huh.
      Q: So how you, er, gonna go about this massacre?
      JR: I don’t know. I just want to make a film of it. On film. I’d like to kill Jimmy Savile. I think he’s a hypocrite. I bet he’s into all kinds of seediness, that we all know about but are not allowed to talk about. I know some rumours. Huh, huh, huh.
      Q: Well, people always tell you things, don’t they?
      JR: Ain’t I a bitch, eh, don’t you think?
      Q: On occasion.
      JR: I bet none of this’ll be allowed out.
      Q: I shouldn’t imagine libellous stuff’ll be allowed out.
      JR: Nothing I said is libel.
      Q: God, you see you’re really well trained, I mean, like, I’m interested in the way, because, when you started out, right, I mean, making music, you were very naive, because you’d never thought about what it would entail, and what it could lead to, in terms of law suits, etcetera.
      JR: Mmm, hmm.
      Q: So you’ve really learnt the hard way.
      JR: Oh, yeah. I seen how, erm, supposed anarchists, like turned into bourgeoisie. I mean, uh
      OTHER: Bond Street shop.
      JR: Ah, yes, Bond Street shops. Epics like that.
      Q: I, I, I know what you’re referring to. You’re referring to the fact that the McLarens have opened a new shop in Bond Street, right?
      JR: Yes. I find that really strange.

        • The idea that there was a great conspiracy of silence around Jimmy Savile over the many decades of his long life, with multiple victims, parents, witnesses, journalists, etc., all different people with different personalities, acting in unison by failing to report crimes to police is very far-fetched. It is far more likely that he did nothing actually criminal. Logic also dictates that if the self-described “victim zero”, who served time in jail for a crime of dishonesty (“writing cheques that she didn’t have the funds to cover” [Daily Mail]), was not telling the truth, none of those who said “me too”, starting with the other fellow former pupils of Duncroft approved school in the TV documentary that sparked the scandal, could have been telling the truth either. One cannot copy a bad piece of homework and get the answer right.

          • Jonathan Mason says

            Excellent points,and the Duncroft cases included 5 allegations of molestation that occurred before Savile visited Duncroft for the first time in January 1974, so only have occurred in the fertile imaginations of adolescent girls.

            It all reminds me of the story of The Devils of Loudon a play from 1960, which was made into a 1971 movie starring Oliver Reed that caused quite a sensation at the time, and must have been well-known to the inmates of Duncroft, (as were the St. Trinians movies, which were based on a cartoon strip about a boarding school for girls, where the teachers are sadists and the girls are juvenile delinquents.)

  12. Martin28 says

    Thank you, Quillette, for publishing and keeping track of these stories, which are really important to pile up one upon another in a mountain of counter-evidence against the blood-lust of identity fanatics. Our victim culture is an incentive for so much fraud. Nobody in the mainstream media is doing that, to their ever-growing shame.

  13. Thank you for a very good summary of a complicated story. There will be more to say in due course.

    But who reads your blog? From the mostly low-grade comments the impression is created you are speaking mainly to American hicks. Pity: you deserve better and wider distribution.

    • Apologies for the typo (maybe add an “edit”:button?): I meant of course to write “this blog”.

      • TarsTarkas says

        GG:

        Please lose the pejoratives. They make you look small.

        My summation of this story is the old saying: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Accompanied by another saying: There’s a sucker born every minute. And too many of those suckers are in a position to tar and feather innocent people, without personal consequence. There was a reason why the Old Testament was so harsh on false witnesses.

        • Yes. Thank you for making my point for me. Given the folksy finger-painting in the comments Quillette seems not to be quite reaching the NYRB market yet. This is a shame, as this piece and others have real quality.

          • Martin28 says

            @GG
            Comments are not a good indication of readership, as probably one in a thousand people comment. It would be great if more people who read the NYRB came here, because they are getting absolutely none of this content from the NYT, so maybe they are not as well informed as they think they are. Maybe you are not as well informed as you think you are. Regardless, you sound like a snob.

  14. Although the British press routinely referred to the “mass of evidence” against Jimmy Savile, there is only a mass of allegations. Zero hard evidence. Basically, at every turn, investigators said they had no reason not to believe allegations. Sorry, but all this shit stinks of the same hysteria that drove the satanic panic and the “recovered” memory syndrome of the 1980s and 1990s

    • One of the poor aspects of the British justice system is that the dead can be accused with impunity, because trials of dead people rarely happen. The same applies even to those accused of terrorism, such as those accused (and found guilty in the media and by police, but without evidence) from the 7/7 bombings in 2005.

      That bombings on 7/7/2005 occurred is almost certain, particularly on the bus. But how, why, what, exactly when and especially who have never been determined despite two inquests into the (non-accused) dead (the accused have never had an inquest – odd enough in itself).

      And the worst of it, like the ‘recovered memory’ brainwashing and ‘believe the victim’ is that these things all hide a deeper and more meaningful zeitgeist change that happens to most unawares.

    • Jonathan Mason says

      “Although the British press routinely referred to the “mass of evidence” against Jimmy Savile, there is only a mass of allegations.”

      That is right. One of the accusers was his own great-niece, but other members of the family said that Savile was never there on the occasion that the abuse occurred. (see link to article below) Almost all of the other accusers have remained anonymous, as is their legal right.

      Here is a link to an excellent piece of reporting in the Daily Mail that very nicely sums up the totality of the allegations against Savile and how lawyers made millions out of the compensation scheme by advertising for victims.

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2798457/how-savile-s-niece-s-demand-compensation-led-police-fraud-probe-daughter-says-story-false-211-claims-vast-payments-police-investigate.html

      Bottom line is that out of hundreds of accusers, there is not one who is a rock-solid unimpeachable witness willing to come forward and state publicly what happened with no interest in obtaining financial compensation, and it is not unreasonable to assume that many of the accusers have pretty sketchy histories that they do not want to reveal and that some of them may have criminal convictions themselves.

      The article points out that many of the allegations of sexual impropriety are supposed to have occurred at filming of the Top of the Pops TV show, where supposedly large numbers of underage girls and groupies (I suppose) were attending the TV studios completely unchaperoned and unsupervised by adults.

      The age of consent in England was and is 16. If unchaperoned girls under this age were being admitted to TV studios as extras at this time, then something was certainly wrong, but I do not believe that this was actually the case, or if I am wrong I stand to be corrected. My understanding is that there was a waiting list of several months to obtain tickets, so it cannot have been that easy for underage girls to just slip away up to London for a day or two to attend the recording of the show.

      I think another factor that is rarely discussed is that of class. The remains of the British class system were still very evident in the 60s and 70s and while most of the people who worked for the BBC were staunchly upper middle class, they wanted real working class front men to present TV programs, especially those targeting working class youth.

      As a former Yorkshire coal miner, Savile met this bill in spades. His behavior was gross by BBC standards, but was tolerated as he was genuinely working class. BBC people did not socialize with people like Savile, but they did not want to appear to be classist by being critical of his rudimentary manners, particularly since he was apparently popular with his target audience and a major fund raiser for national charities.

      Savile was a scumbag in his private life, sure, but was he really the most prolific pedophile and serial rapist in British history?

      History or hysteria, that is the question.

  15. Serenity says

    Timely and well written article. Thank you.

    I’d argue that progressive liberalism – and culture of victimhood it institutionalised – instigated and driven by antisocial, psychopathic behaviour of people without moral scruples, ruthless and manipulative liars. Case of Carl Beech shows how far such behaviour can get.

    “…detecting liars is remarkably difficult. It is impossible to just listen to someone and tell whether they are lying or not… It was only after meticulous investigation of Beech’s story, interviews with his schoolmates and family, a review of his surviving school records, forensic examination of his computers, and even a medical examination for signs of past injuries or broken bones (there were none), that it could be conclusively proved that Carl Beech was a liar.”

    What about other willing participants and propagators of this drama?

    “… journalist Mark Conrad would show Beech pictures of famous people, and Beech would announce whether the person he was looking at had abused him or not… Conrad then wrote up whatever Beech told him, and toned down the most ridiculous parts…

    One of its top detectives, Kenny McDonald, notoriously described Beech’s allegations as ‘credible and true.’ It never became entirely clear if McDonald actually believed this or if he was dutifully reciting the official policy that ‘victims must be believed’ no matter how implausible their stories…

    Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, took Carl Beech seriously from the moment they met in 2014. Watson … was, as Beech would later testify, ‘part of the little group supporting me and putting my information out there to encourage other people to come forward.’”

    Were these people true believers in Beech’s victimhood or unscrupulous liars furthering their own ends? Or may be they started as former and finished as latter?

    The scariest fact – “…the more absurd Beech’s allegations became, the more ready people were to believe, enable, and encourage him.”

    Progressive liberalism – fostered culture of victimhood – is not a good cause of liberalism taken too far. It is psychopathy unleashed.

    • As a well-known sociopathic liar once wrote, if you tell a colossal lie, no one would believe that someone could have the impudence to distort the truth so much. It is the little lies that are easier to spot. You can try this yourself: if you have a partner, go home and explain being an hour late home because you were held up and gunpoint; at a different time, try explaining the same away because the car overheated. It’s an interesting experiment!

  16. David W says

    Overall an excellent article. I’m not sure that the general public were anything like as gullible as the Wiltshire and Metropolitan Police, or the politicians and media people jumping on the bandwagon. After that ridiculous interview with the senior policeman outside Ted Heath’s former house in Salisbury, I think most of us came to the conclusion pretty quickly that this was complete rubbish. We didn’t have too much problem believing some of the Savile stories, as for decades he’d been thought of as a pretty creepy individual.

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  18. jimmy comet says

    on this side of the pond [or in the pond]
    monica peterson
    pizza gate
    l ling
    epstein

    where there is smoke there is fire.

    • Jim O'Connor says

      Yes, it is easy to pick apart the claims of one person, but when many are saying the same thing it becomes harder to dismiss, even (or especially?) when their stories do not make the newspapers.

      For other claims of VIP paedophile abuse, Google “Holly Greig”.

      • Holly Greig is another set of fantastic false accusations so tends to reinforce rather than undermine the article.

        • Jim O'Connor says

          Holly Greig is a credible witness, as Down’s syndrome sufferers are virtually unable to lie.

          • Drach Man says

            Err….I think not. I’ve known many people with Downs, and they are pretty much like everyone else, morally.

  19. The problem was not principally created by the Jimmy Saville scandal, doubtedless this excaserbated the situation. It created an initial impetus to Carl Beech to falsely claim to be a victim and provided the framework within which he was rewarded and encouraged in his false accusations.

    However this ignores the continuing reduction in the legal protections for an accused and the ongoing campaign to further weaken those protections, to vilify and demonise all men as dangerous, sexual predators and to convince society as a whole that those accused are guilty simple because they are accused.

    The situation is continuing to worsen and is not improved when clear cases of false accusations are revealed as in the Carl Beech case or the many collapsed rape prosecutions in which phone evidence was not properly disclosed.

    The fundamental issue is a political ideology which sees any man accused of a sex crime by a woman, who is not convicted as a failure and an injustice. This is fundamentally discriminatory and bigotted but despit ebeing the veiwpoint of only a small minority it is this minority who are driving legal and procedural change. It is this small group who changed the law so that allegations need not be strikingly similar to be trieid together, that removed the anonymity of accused, that prevented an accused using evidence of an accusers previous sexual history in their defence and that introduced an official guideline that the ‘victim’ should always be believed. Whenerv some shocking injustoce or case of false accusations is revealed instead of a consideration of how such an injustice can be prevented there is a campaign to close the ‘loophole’. Ched Evans was only freed because some people broke the law to name his accuser, as a result a man came forwrd with evidence that teh accuser had previously acted in ways very similar to that claimed by Ched Evans and the judge rulesd that exceptionally that evidence could be admitted. Instead of a consideration of whether anonymity from accused and accuser shoudl be removed so that a smuch evidence a spossibel will be gathered and that in a he said she said situation evidence of previous sexual encounters for both parties is critical in determining credibility and shoudl be admitted there was a campaign to forbid the evidence that proved Ched’s innocence to be forbidden in all cases. There is currently a campaign in Britain against the police investigatting an accusers mobile phone history for relevant evidence after such evidence revealed a series of allegations to be malicous and false.

    We have to recognise that there is a campaign to undermine the ability for men to have fair trials and we shoudl campaign for an end to anonymity for both accused and accuser, the admittance of evidence of past behaviour for both parties, and the prevention of accusation trawling by returning to the rule that only strikingly similar accusations can be tried together. The fundamental principles of the presumption of innocence and that all parties should be treated respectively but investigated impartially need to be reasserted.

    More broadly soceity has to stop feting victims and celebrating victimhood and weakness. Victims deserve sympathy and support but it should not be something people aspire to and celebrate. If someone is a victim of a crime then it should be recognised that there is a public duty to help prosecute that crime and that in order for justice to be done there will need to be some examination of some aspects of their life. What the accused is subject to and the damage to their repuation will be far worse.

    I do not feel at all hopeful, things will continue to get worse and men will continue to be at very high risk if they should become the target of a false accusation.

  20. patrick says

    “CICA – the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, a fickle and imperfect quango which awards or refuses government compensation to the victims of crime.
    It almost always gets it wrong: it pays far too little to those genuinely injured, it often refuses to pay anything at all for quixotic reasons, and it sometimes fails to identify fraudsters.”

    The reason it believes fraudsters so often is because they are supported by the police.
    Matthew as a senior lawyer cannot see, or dare to say it – but corruption within the UK police is rampant.
    They help “victims” claim the CICA money,
    they help them for their own selfish reasons.
    Once the fraudster (and there were at least 25,000 of them last year) has signed that from they are bound to “fully cooperate and support the police action”.

    Whatever the eventual outcome – even if the case is thrown out as ridiculous and self contradictory it will be described as being dropped for “insufficient evidence”.
    But CICA will take the police supporting the case as proof enough to pay out to the “victim”.

    It is a farce – and a gravy train (at our expense) for the abusive accusers.

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  22. Beverley Brown says

    There is also a tragedy here for genuine victims. False accusers and fantasists like Beech are grist to the mill for those who assume that lying is the norm.

  23. Tigger says

    Despite the fact that some of the later stories were utterly unbelievable – eg as you point out, Ted Heath and Harvey Proctor would probably not have willingly shared a lift, let alone an extreme perversion session of the type luridly described by Exaro etc – the fact remains that he probably gained traction earlier on in part because of the rumours that had been circulating for decades in government, civil service & similar circles about a few of the people he accused.

    (Beech could, of course, have found plenty of inspiration from a thorough internet search for such tales.)

    I was told that one of them had “a bottom drawer full of pictures of babies” back in about 1990, by someone I knew, apparently from official sources.

    While I imagine that many of the people he later accused were entirely innocent, we shall now never know whether any of the longer standing rumours were true or not.

    As for your dismissive tone about the timing and nature of the allegations about Jimmy Saville, I can remember a nurse at a completely insignificant party back in about 1982 telling us that Jimmy Saville was notorious amongst nurses at Stoke Mandeville. If completely distant nobodies had been told he was well worth avoiding that far back in time, people closer to him must have known what he was like.

    It does you no favours at all to pooh-pooh the stories which emerged many years later, even if one or two may have been embellished (and they may not have been).

    • Notorious for? Let’s hear this ‘victim’s’ story:

      Victim 19 worked as a diagnostic radiographer at Stoke Mandeville Hospital between 1976 and 1978. She was around 23 years of age at the time and was accommodated in one of the new nurses’ homes. Savile appeared to have free access around the Hospital and had his own accommodation in one of the older buildings. Savile visited Victim 19 at her accommodation on two occasions. Victim 19 met Savile for the first time one evening; she noted that Savile often walked around the Hospital at night supposedly assisting the porters “I never saw him creeping about on his own”. On this occasion she was aware of the fact the other staff she was with did not like him much as they said something like “Oh God, here he comes”. Savile was chatty and asked if she would take him out in her American car. Victim 19 took Savile out in her car and nothing untoward happened.

      6.71 Savile then suggested taking Victim 19 out for supper in his Rolls Royce as he suggested one good turn deserved another. Savile took her to a Chinese restaurant and then took her back to the nurses’ home afterwards. When they were in the communal television room Savile began to “grope” her breast. There were other people in the television room but it was dark and they could not see what Savile was doing. Victim 19 managed to manoeuvre Savile away and was able to persuade
      him to leave; as he left he kissed her pushing his tongue into her mouth. On several occasions afterwards Savile would try to ask her out but Victim 19 refused. He eventually gave up asking her.

      6.72 A nurse that Victim 19 spoke to said that Savile would often push his way into their rooms and that he was known to be a dirty old man. No one ever indicated that Savile had actually abused them; he was regarded as a pain, nothing more. Victim 19 told no one in an official capacity as she did not think she had anything to complain about at the time and was not aware of any complaints procedures. Victim 19 also stated that Savile’s brother (uncertain which one) used to wander around the Hospital also dressed in a tracksuit. The common view was that he cut a rather pathetic figure.

      Seriously, notorious for what?

      • Jonathan Mason says

        Good points. I don’t think there is any dispute over the fact that Savile was a randy single man who liked to have consensual sex with younger women and used his fame as a celebrity to leverage his chances.

        It is easy to make assumptions about his behavior in private by extrapolating from his on-air demeanor, for example being excessively flirtatious and on being introduced to women kissing them on the hand or mouth, and then following up with kisses up the arm, which most people probably find obnoxious, but acknowledge that it was part of the public act of Jimmy Savile, the Celebrity.

        However many of the allegations seem to be based on the assumption that his public persona was the same one on one in private in situations where it was not welcomed.

        British people do not, or did not when Savile was younger, find it very easy to talk openly about sex, and if a man took a woman on a date and they got on well, escalating the relationship by some sort of intimate touching would have been the next step towards seduction. In the example given above Savile backed off when it was clear that his advances were not welcome, so no foul.

        Perhaps people of the sexually active generation today find it hard to understand that back then in the decades after the invention of the “pill”, their mothers, as young single women did have casual sex with men, and there was no written contract or verbal discussion beforehand, just a meeting of eyes, some touching, some kissing, then undressing.

        It seems amazing to an older person like me (nearly 70) that this needs to be said, but maybe it does.

        Also, I find it odd that I should be speaking up for Savile, because back in the 70’s I was anything but a fan of Savile, and found him generally repulsive.

    • Shamrock says

      Tigger

      ” the fact remains that he probably gained traction earlier on in part because of the rumours that had been circulating for decades in government, civil service & similar circles about a few of the people he accused.”

      I think Cyril Smith, an MP who was outed as a pedo in 2012 led people to being more willing to believe accusations of cover ups by those in power.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyril_Smith

  24. Ian says

    There were many accusations of abuse leveled at Lord Janner by many men. The police were ready to take it to trial, but stopped due to his dementia and lack of ability to defend himself. Might have been worth mentioning that.The Janner familys attempt to clear their fathers name smells of misdirection.

    • LondonBob says

      Carl Beech reeks of an attempt to muddy the waters and undermine the multiple creditable allegations. The Greville Janner and Cyril Smith cases are absolutely clear. Look Russians!

  25. Klaus C. says

    Full marks to Harvey Proctor for standing up to this creep, and gradually opening eyes to what was going on.

    And no marks at all to the police for being so easily led astray.

    As for Tom Watson, he’s merely demonstrated that he’s a waste of space, as today’s Labour Party apparently interprets the role of deputy leader.

  26. Anon says

    Ive helped rape victims over the years, financially, to recover. We got lots of reports about priests but didnt believe the magnitude at first. We have also seen lawyers use false marital rape and domestic violence claims to extort money and divorce settlements. I think this article is good. Me Too# is a silly slogan. Its done more harm than good. Our legal system is far from perfect . Improving it, rather than resorting to slogans and beliefs of victims, would be so much better

  27. Thank you for this article, for setting it all out simply and clearly.

    You didn’t even include some of the more bizarre claims I have heard in relation to this story. I think the claims are also highly homophobic, people who had to conceal their proclivities being smeared as pedophiles. I’ve heard rumours about Edward Heath for decades most pointing out that he probably was blackmailed over his private life, but i’ve still not seen any real evidence. These were all rumours of course and if we had a more open society 40-50 years ago homosexuals would never have been conflated with pedophilia so readily. Alas.

    Another point was the strangeness to me of the amount of accusations being made around the same time. It seemed to me that perhaps there was someone protecting a small cadre of abusers whom had recently died, causing them to lose their protection.

    It’s good to know that this was not the case and that a lot of those accusations were lies, brought on by the neglect of journalists and police.

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  33. Cassandra says

    When I was fourteen years old ( more than fifty years ago), a friend of ours who was a to cameraman got me a ticket to be part of the onscreen audience for Top of the Pops. He said time, don’t go near Jimmy Savile, tough, he has wandering hands with girls of your age’. Everyone who worked with Savile knew. A good many people other people knew.

    The real scandal was not that a disc jockey liked young girls, and took his chances in a job which presented them, but that his colleagues and employers were aware and did nothing. the BBC built a rather talentless (and obviously weird, string vest, cigar ,,come on) into a monster sacre who was untouchable. That set the precedent for doubting anyone prominent .

    • Jonathan Mason says

      No, the real scandal was that the BBC was allowing unchaperoned 14-year-old girls to participate in the studio dancing during the making of a show, in which time there would presumably have been a few hours with breaks and intervals in filming and setting up sound stages for live performances, tuning guitars, rehearsals, retakes, etc,, and where adult men, musicians and roadies, and older boys in the audience, all of them unknown to the parents would have been present, and that there was no chaperone assigned to the minors.

      AND that the parents or guardians of these girls as young as 14 were doing what? Sending them up to the studio in London on their own or with pals their own age? Or were the parents also there backstage, but off camera? The mind truly boggles. As a 14-year-old BOY I would not have been allowed to attend such an event without adult supervision, no way.

      Savile was just one of the disk jockeys in rotation on Top of the Pops and was hired because he had been a popular voice on pirate radio before the BBC founded Radio One to play pop music for the first time in 1967 at a time when the average age of the UK population was 27. Working class disk jockeys with Yorkshire accents appealed to a certain section of the audience who saw him as a kind of local boy who had made good in showbiz.. Obviously he was very good at self promotion too.

      Personally I did not like him, but obviously a lot of people did.

      He may well have been known to the studio staff and being rather “handsy” or “gropey”, but apparently this was his style as part of his performance on camera, and presumably directors and producers would have been able to tell him to cut it out if audience members or their families were getting upset.

      It does not mean that they knew that he was a pedophile and rapist on a massive scale when off camera, which is what was alleged after his death.

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