A British Horror Story: How did Jimmy Savile die, what happened to his grave and where is he buried now?

Jimmy Savile, A British Horror Story
(Image credit: Netflix)

Forget Tinder Swindler , Worst Roommate Ever and Inventing Anna, there's a new Netflix docuseries that's got everyone talking. Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story has got some fans are calling for the 'sickening' documentary to be removed from the streaming service, others want to know how did Jimmy Saville die, what happened to his grave and where is he buried now?

The BBC already has a Jimmy Savile drama The Reckoning in the pipeline but Netflix is one step ahead by releasing this two-part documentary to its catalogue based on the DJ, television and radio personality who had been a  prolific and predatory sex offender, abusing hundreds of people, some as young as five.

To date, more than 450 allegations of sexual assault and abuse have been made against him and the documentary examines, through extensive archive footage, Savile’s relationship with the British people, the establishment and the media to understand how he managed to fool an entire nation for so long, as we answer the questions viewers want to know...

How did Jimmy Savile die?

Jimmy Savile died on 29th October 2011 of pneumonia. He was found dead at his home in Roundhay, Leeds, two days before his 85th birthday and had been in hospital with pneumonia prior to that so his death was not suspicious.

In the days after news of his death broke, his closed satin gold coffin was  displayed at the Queens Hotel in Leeds, with the last cigar he smoked and his two This Is Your Life books before it was taken on a farewell tour of Leeds.

Jimmy Savile

Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story Part 2. Footage of Jimmy Savile in Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story Part 2. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Did Jimmy Savile go to jail?

Jimmy Savile didn't go to jail because he died before he could be sent to jail for his crimes. He wasn't ever caught for his crimes during his lifetime - despite there being two police investigations that considered reports about him while he was still alive - with the earliest known probe being as far back as 1958.

Two years before his death, he was interviewed under caution by Surrey police who were investigating an alleged indecent assault at Duncroft school, Surrey, in 2009 but at the time the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided that there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute him.

But following his death, BBC journalist Meirion Jones started investigating historic claims for Newsnight but at the time editor Peter Rippon told him to stop just a few weeks before the BBC tribute to Savile aired.

And in October 2012 ITV aired documentary called Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, and it outlined Savile’s crimes.

The Met police then launched an investigation and confirmed by 2013 that 450 people had come forward - almost three-quarters of them were under 18 and 34 rapes were reported across 28 police forces. The victims included 28 children under the age of 10. It was confirmed that 214 of the reports would have been criminal offences if they were reported at the time.

And while Savile didn't go to prison himself, the scandal sparked Operation Yewtree, which led to the arrest of 19 people.

What happened to Jimmy Savile's grave?

Jimmy Savile's grave had its headstone removed after this family made the decision following the investigation into the disgraced former DJ. Savile had a long association with Scarborough and he was buried there at an elevated position in a cemetery in Scarborough but his family chose to remove the stone and at the time, giving a reason for doing so, a family spokesman said, "Out of respect to public opinion, to those who are buried there, and to those who tend their graves and visit there, we have decided to remove it. We have done so because of the impact the stone remaining there could have on the dignity and sanctity of the cemetery".

It came after the rapists' commemorative signs, plaques and even street names were defaced, sparking a removal effort across the seaside town. A footpath sign in Scarborough commemorating Jimmy was taken down by the borough council and a plaque outside his flat in Scarborough was also taken down after the words "rapist" and "paedophile" were written on it.

Jimmy Savile graveyard

SCARBOROUGH, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 10: A general view at Sir Jimmy Savile's funeral at Woodlands Cemetery on November 10, 2011 in Scarborough, England. (Photo by Ben Statham/WireImage)

Where is Jimmy Savile buried?

Jimmy Savile is buried in a gold coffin at Woodlands Cemetery in Scarborough, at at 45-degree angle at facing the sea, at his own request so he could continue to look out across his favourite view from the grave. At the time his family announced they would be taking down his headstone, it was hoped that as well as removing the headstone, his whole grave and body would be exhumed but it wasn't moved due to the £20,000 cost it would have taken to do so.

Jimmy Savile grave

SCARBOROUGH, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 10: The grave is readied as Sir Jimmy Savile is laid to rest during his burial at Woodlands Cemetery on November 10, 2011 in Scarborough, England. Savile, 84, died on October 29, 2011. (Photo by Ben Statham/WireImage)

How much was Jimmy Savile worth?

Jimmy Savile's estate was worth £3.3m, after expenses. A few friends and relatives named in Savile's will received small amounts of money. He left the remainder, and the bulk of his estate, to the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust which he had established in 1985. He made his millions having rose to fame in a career spanning decades in the entertainment industry in the UK. The Jim'll Fix It and Top Of The Pops presenter had raised millions of pounds for charity, been knighted by the Queen and achieved national treasure status up until his death. His funeral was even broadcast live on the BBC.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)