Australia: ‘Bondi Beast’ serial rapist identified by police, four decades after his first attack

The Australian police have found the serial rapist known as “Bondi Beast” after nearly 40 years since his first attack, who had terrorised Sydney suburbs for over three decades. The perpetrator, now identified as Keith Simms, died earlier this year, in February due to kidney failure at the age of 66. 

According to the police, Simms had targeted 31 women, aged between 14 and 55, from 1985 to 2001 by entering their homes or while they were out jogging or walking. In 2005, New South Wales Police formed a Strike Force Doreen in order to investigate the five sexual assaults which took place in the city’s eastern suburbs. 

The police were told by the victims that he would subdue them by using knives or threats and kept his face hidden during the attacks. While initially, the detectives believed that there were several men behind these attacks but after analysing evidence from the 31 sexual assaults and attempted sexual assaults they concluded it was just one man behind all these incidents. 

Furthermore, owing to the advancement in technology since the investigators were able to link all the incidents to Simms using his DNA. The link was first found in the early 2000s when women gave similar descriptions of their assailants some of the aspects include 160 to 180 cm in height, dark complexion, brown eyes, wavy hair, and a wide nose. He also wore casual clothes, like tracksuits or hoodies and kept his face covered. 

Over the years, he was also known as the “Centennial Park rapist”, “Tracksuit rapist”, the Bondi rapist and the “Bondi Beast” by the media reporting on the incident. The DNA evidence was directly linked to 12 incidents while his modus operandi matched 19 other incidents. According to reports, his first attack was committed in March 1985 and his last assault on record was in October 2001.  

In 2019, police had a breakthrough in the case when they found a familial DNA match in their database and narrowed it down to 324 people which eventually led them to Simms. 

“Further investigations and forensic examinations, including additional Y-STR testing, revealed the DNA was linked to a man who died earlier this year, aged 66,” said the NSW police in a statement on Monday. It said that Strike Force Doreen investigators have since called the victims and advised them the man has been identified but due to his death “no further legal action can be taken.” 

(With inputs from agencies) 

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