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Savile’s charitable work raised his profile and credibility. Recently released records show he lobbied Thatcher for government donations and tax breaks for charities.

“I find it quite scary that people who had the power to stop him didn’t use that power … and he went on to do the most horrific things to people in the most awful circumstances,” said Caroline Moore, who says Savile abused her as she recovered from a spinal operation at Stoke Mandeville in 1971.

Some Savile victims did speak out. Several women went to police to report Saville in 2003, 2007 and 2008, and senior prosecutor Alison Levitt said Friday that the entertainer could have been brought to justice while he was alive, if officials had pursued the allegations more vigorously.

The BBC — which has been strongly criticized for dropping an investigation into Savile’s crimes shortly after this death — and several health bodies are holding their own inquiries into how Savile was able to get away with decades of abuse.

Peter Saunders of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood said authorities must be more prepared to listen to children who say they have been abused.

“I want us to forget Jimmy Savile. He is not worthy of memory,” Saunders said. “But I want us to remember his many victims.”