I’ve just finished reading: In Plain Sight – The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile by Dan Davis (2014)

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I saw this in one of my charity shop trawls, hunting for books. There’s been so many conspiracy theories, newspaper articles and blog posts – you don’t know what’s credible and what’s not, what’s so out there,  what’s plausible. So seeing this, I decided to buy it and try and form an opinion.

Like a hell of a lot of the British population, when the news surfaced of the allegations, I was shocked but at the same time not surprised. I loved Jim’ll Fix It, and thought Savile was funny, but was also secretly creeped out by him. Being a kid though, I couldn’t put my finger on why. I remember my mum at the time, saying she didn’t like him at all.

I’ll admit that as the number of suspected assaults and abuse were escalating at an alarming number, my thoughts at times, bordered on “oh come on this is getting ridiculous”. It was these thoughts that made me want to read this, out of guilt for thinking like this.

This book is not for the faint hearted. The allegations described can be graphic (but never, ever does it come across as glorying in them). When you read about his rise in not only fame, but in power, and the unlimited access he had at hospitals and institutions across the country, you start to realise that the numbers being bandied about are not only plausible, but likely to be an under estimation.

I spent the majority of the time whilst reading this, being angry and frustrated. The stories and rumours were present from the 60s onwards. Various celebrities coming out of the woodwork after his death, saying “everyone knew”. But none spoke up whilst he was alive. People like Edwina Currie, retroactively rubber stamping the approval that he was more or less in charge of Broadmoor – then saying afterwards “I never liked him even at the time (despite her diary entries suggesting otherwise) . Everyone who knew at the time but said nothing, are complicit in his crimes, even the police who did nothing, despite allegations made to them through the decades. Even the medical staff at Leeds and Stoke Mandeville who knew what he was doing,  and told women and children to “pretend to be asleep when he’s about”. They’re all complicit and allowed him to continue for years.

What stunned me, throughout this book, is how brazen he was. He never tried to hide how he had sex (outright rape, coerced and groomed) with these unfortunate girls. He even effectively groomed the parents of them, worming his way into their houses.

This book is extremely triggering and upsetting but it provides a terrifying insight into the man and how abuse can be allowed to happen.

Do I recommend this book?  Definitely, but proceed with caution 

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