Almost 35 years Australian police succeeded to identify a serial rapist who terrorised Sydney over three decades.
Keith Simms targeted 31 women between 1985 and 2001, entering their homes or attacking them while they were out jogging, police said.
Simms, a father-of-three and grandfather of five, died of kidney failure in February aged 66.
Detectives initially believed several different men were behind these attacks sex attacks committed across Sydney’s east between 1987 and 2000.
But after applying DNA technology, investigators have now linked them all to Simms, who died aged 66 in February.
Known at different times as “the Bondi Beast” or “the Tracksuit Rapist”, Simms first struck in the seaside suburb of Clovelly in 1985.
His last assault took place at a nearby cemetery in 2001.
Each incident was individually investigated 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 kept his face covered and wore casual clothes, like tracksuits, hoodies or football shorts media reported. He either threatened his victims with a knife, or made them believe he had one on him.
In 2019 investigators had a breakthrough, finding a familial DNA match in the police database, which narrowed the suspect pool down to 324 people.
In September, a sample from Simms was found to be a perfect match of those taken from the victims.
— The Sydney Morning Herald (@smh) November 21, 2022
Local media reports said family and friends had described Simms as a much-loved father, grandfather and community member.