LONDON (AP) — Jimmy Savile was one of the best-known faces on British television. So how was he able to become one of the country's worst child sex predators without ever being caught?

Since the revelations began earlier this month, it's become clear that victims raised the alarm, police were aware of the allegations and journalists suspected that something was up.

Here's a look at a few points where Savile's abuse might have been stopped.

IN THE 1960S:

When Savile was a dance hall manager in the northern England city of Leeds, his predatory behavior was already known. In a recent article published in the Mail Online, biographer Dan Davies said one of Savile's co-workers at the time joked that the entertainer "was either going to be a huge success or in prison" for having sex with 14-year-old girls.

IN 1973:

When Savile found work with the BBC, senior management became suspicious. Corporation press officer Rodney Collins said in a recent interview with the BBC that he was told by his then-boss that he had "heard things about Jimmy Savile" and underage girls. The boss asked Collins to check with his newspaper contacts; Collins got gossip, but no evidence. Collins said his journalist friends told him at the time the gossip would probably never come to light "whether true or not."


Savile's great-niece, Caroline Robinson, told her grandmother she was sexually abused by Savile at a family party. Robinson, who was 12 at the time, was interviewed by the ITV television network earlier this week. She said her late grandmother shrugged off the abuse, telling her: "It's only Jimmy, don't worry ..."

IN THE 1980S:

A woman told London's Metropolitan Police that Jimmy Savile assaulted her inside his trailer while it was parked on BBC premises. The case was dropped due to insufficient evidence.

IN 1994:

Sunday Mirror editor Paul Connew met with two women who alleged abuse by Savile. Connew said he found their testimony compelling, but said the alleged victims were afraid of the clout of an entertainer who had rubbed shoulders with royalty and had been honored by the Vatican.

"One of them said memorably: 'Who's going to believe us in the witness box against Jimmy Savile? He's friends with Prince Charles, Princess Diana ... he's been blessed by the pope,'" Connew said. He told The Associated Press that Britain's strict defamation laws meant that he was left with little to run with. "They had to be prepared to go on the record and face what would've been an almost certain libel action from Savile," he said.

IN 2003:

A woman contacted London's Metropolitan Police to tell her that Savile touched her inappropriately in the 1970s, but she declined to press charges.

IN 2007:

Police in Surrey, in southern England, received an eyewitness report about the abuse of a girl at a children's home in the 1970s. A further investigation turned up three alleged victims of Savile. The first was a fellow resident of the children's home; the second was a girl who was allegedly assaulted at a specialist hospital in or around 1973; and the third was assaulted in southern England in 1970.

Although police questioned Savile, all three alleged victims declined to press charges and authorities dropped the case in 2009. In a statement published Thursday, chief British prosecutor Keir Starmer said there were "obvious problems" in pursuing a case where victims were reluctant to come forward, where there was no forensic evidence and where there was limited witness testimony, "particularly in relation to allegations which date back a number of years."

IN 2008:

Savile's name comes up during an investigation into abuse at a children's home on the Channel Island of Jersey. The inquiry's chief recently told the Guardian newspaper that "there definitely wasn't enough to question him at the time."

IN 2011:

Savile dies at age 84 on Oct. 29.

IN 2012:

Some 300 potential victims have come forward in the wake of the Savile revelations, according to police. Most of them say they were abused by the late BBC TV host, but some say they were abused by other people. British police have refused to give a detailed breakdown.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Jimmy Savile in 1961 around the time he was working for Radio Luxembourg. He is at London Airport with Pan American stewardess Birgit Johansson with two gold discs; one is for American singer Elvis Presley for having sold one million copies of "It's Now or Never" in the UK, and the other is for Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker

  • Cilla Black and Jimmy Savile before a Variety Club Luncheon at the Savoy Hotel. Taken in 1964, the year Savile became the first presenter of Top of the Pops

  • Two women have come forward with allegations from the 1960s, one who was 14 and another who was a teenager when she claims Savile sexually abused her in Scarborough

  • Savile in 1969 with Physically Handicapped and Able-Bodied (PHAB) member Erika Mentz from Germany and other PHAB members at a dance at Devonshire House

  • 1969 also saw Savile begin volunteering at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital for specialist spinal injuries. He would later be given a room there

  • Jimmy Savile presenting a cheque to children on behalf of the NSPCC in 1969

  • The 1970s saw Savile start volunteering at Leeds General Infirmary and...

  • ... Broadmoor secure high-security psychiatric hospital. Allegations by former patients have been made against Savile although ex-workers have disputed the idea that he could have been left alone with anyone whilst working there

  • The 70s also saw the start of Jim'll Fix It. Allegations from this period include Caroline Moore, a 13-year-old patient at Stoke Mandeville hospital in 1971, who says Savile "rammed his tongue" down her throat and another allegation accuses Savile of molesting a brain-damaged teenage patient at Leeds General Infirmary in 1972

  • The 1980s saw the continuation of Top of the Pops and Jim'll Fix It as Savile became a much loved household name. Two allegations relating to this time include one from a then-15-year-old girl (not pictured) who made a complaint of abuse by Savile in Lancashire. Pictured is 12-year-old Rebecca Heap

  • Savile at the Stoke Mandeville hospital with injured children from Beirut in 1987

  • Savile was knighted in 1990 and continued his charity work throughout the decade

  • Savile was questioned in 2007 by police about allegations of sexual abuse but the Crown Prosecution service says there is not enough evidence to warrant a prosecution

  • A 2008 police report into abuse at the Haut de Garenne children's home in Jersey names Savile, although this is never made public

  • Savile re-united with his Jim'll Fix It chair in 2009. The previous year Sussex police received a complaint of sexual assault but went on to say the victim was "unwilling to co-operate in any investigation"

  • Jimmy Savile is found dead at the age of 84 in October 2011. He is buried in Scarborough

  • In December 2011 the BBC drop an investigation by Newsnight into the allegations of sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile. Three tribute programmes are aired instead

  • ITV airs a documentary, 'Exposure, the Other Side of Jimmy Savile', in which a number of women claim they were abused by Savile as youngsters, including Karin Ward (pictured)

  • Within days of the documentary, many more allegations surface. By the 9 October Peter Spindler of the Metropolitan Police tells the BBC: "It is quite clear from what women are telling us that Savile was a predatory sex offender"

  • 11 October 2012 and George Entwistle, Director General of the BBC, asks journalists why the Newsnight programme was dropped as police from Tayside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and North Yorkshire police say they are investigating allegations going back to 1959

  • 12 October and police reveal they have 340 potential lines of inquiry

  • 15 October sees a man come forward alleging that Savile abused him when he was a nine-year-old boyscout

  • Savile's family removed his headstone from his grave and broke it up in the wake of the furore

  • Jimmy Savile sexually abuses transgender man

    A transgender man comes forward alleging that Jimmy Savile 'stuck his hand up his nightdress' while he was a 17-year-old teenage girl at Broadmoor in the 1970's. More here