JIMMY Savile’s details were recorded as part of the huge hunt to find the Yorkshire Ripper, in the 1970s, but no evidence has been found that he was a “person of interest” to the inquiry.
Questions were raised about the broadcaster’s relationship with the Ripper investigation last year when a retired senior officer claimed the disgraced DJ was a suspect in the notorious case more than 30 years ago.
But a report published today on West Yorkshire Police’s (WYP) contacts with Savile concluded it could find no evidence of this being true.
The review found that many records have been destroyed but detectives had found huge numbers of record cards with information about thousands of men who had been spoken to.
The report said: “Searches of the paperwork relating to the investigation have identified four index cards relating to Savile. They contain scant information and do not indicate whether Savile was a ‘person of interest’ to the enquiry team.
“The information held was his name, date of birth, home address and various reference numbers. It was not possible to establish the relevance of the reference numbers as a large proportion of the investigation paperwork had been destroyed in the 1980s.”
But the review said: “One card does make reference to Savile offering his services as an intermediary for the police, should the ‘Ripper’ wish to make contact.”
As part of today’s report, West Yorkshire Police analysed the characteristics of the 68 victims who have come forward in the force area so far. Nine of Savile’s West Yorkshire victims were under 10 at the time and one of them was only five.
These victims have reported 76 crimes between them, 72 of them taking place in Savile’s home city of Leeds.
The youngest victim was five and the eldest was 45.
Last year West Yorkshire Police detective John Stainthorpe said police approached the Leeds-born presenter after an anonymous tip-off.
Mr Stainthorpe, who spent 40 years in the force, told ITV’s Calendar News: “When the Ripper was really active, one of the suspects put forward by the public was, in fact, Jimmy Savile.
“Obviously, it was not he, but he was interviewed along with many others.”
Today’s report said investigators had spoken to one retired senior officer who worked on the investigation who remembered Savile’s name being mentioned during a meeting with fellow senior officers.
“He was unable to provide any more detail as to why he was mentioned and what links if any Savile had to the Ripper enquiry,” the report said.
“The enquiry team spoke to several other officers who were part of the Ripper enquiry team, including those officers that worked on the Leeds side of the investigation and they had no knowledge of Savile being part of that enquiry.”