Bondi Beast breakthrough as serial rapist identified

A serial rapist who terrorised Sydney over three decades has been identified by Australian Police. Keith Simms targeted 31 women between 1985 and 2001, entering their homes or attacking them while they were out jogging.

Detectives originally thought several different men were behind the attacks.

But thanks to new DNA technology, investigators have now linked them all to Simms, who died aged 66 in February.

Over the years, media reporting on the incidents referred to the suspect as ‘the Centennial Park rapist’ (1980s), the Bondi rapist (1990s), the tracksuit rapist (2000) and ‘the Bondi Beast’ (2016).

Simms first struck in the seaside suburb of Clovelly in 1985.

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His last assault took place at a nearby cemetery in 2001.

Each incident was treated as a separate case at the time, but police began linking them in the 2000s.

DNA from 12 of the victims was the same, and another 19 incidents matched the attacker’s modus operandi.

The women – who were aged between 14 and 55 – all gave similar descriptions of their assailant.

He was 160 to 180cm tall, had a dark complexion, brown eyes and a wide nose.

During the attacks he kept his face covered and wore casual clothes, like tracksuits, hoodies or football shorts.

He either threatened his victims with a knife, or made them believe he had one on him.

In 2019 investigators had a breakthrough when they found a familial DNA match in the police database.

This narrowed the suspect pool down to 324 people.

And in September, a sample from Simms was found to be a perfect match of those taken from the victims.

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Local media reports said family and friends had described Simms as a much-loved father, grandfather and community member.

The detective who broke the news to Simms’ family has said they had “no idea”.

Detective Sergeant Shelley Johns told The Daily Telegraph: “We met with his wife and she was absolutely shocked.

“She couldn’t believe the man she knew could have done these things.”

Investigators have also contacted the victims to advise them their attacker has been identified, but that due to his death no further legal action can be taken.

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