Police believe Keith Simms was behind up to 31 attacks in Sydney’s eastern suburbs between 1987 and 2000.
Police said Simms would either break into women’s homes in the middle of the night and attack them in their beds, or grab them while they were out jogging. He also dragged them into bushes.
Thought there were several perpetrators
His oldest victim was 55, the youngest just 14.
Investigators initially believed several different men were behind the attacks.
Thanks to new DNA technology, investigators have now linked them all to Simms, who died in February aged 66.
At his funeral, Simms was described as a kind-hearted “hero” and a father figure who loved playing football, partying and supporting the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
In the 1980s, he was known as the “Centennial Park rapist”. In the 1990s, “Bondi rapist”, and “Tracksuit rapist” in the 2000s.
16 years later he became known as the “Bondi Beast”.
Each incident was investigated individually at the time, but in the 2000s police began to link them together.
Advances in forensic DNA technology enabled investigators to track down Simms. In September, his DNA was found and matched exactly 12 of his victims.
A further 19 incidents matched the attacker’s way of ‘working’.
The women, who were aged between 14 and 55, all gave similar descriptions of the assailant.
He was 160 to 180 cm tall, had a dark complexion, brown eyes and a broad nose.
He kept his face covered and wore clothes such as tracksuits, hoodies or football shorts.
He either threatened his victims with a knife or made them believe he was carrying one.
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 said they had no idea.
“We met his wife, she was completely shocked,” Detective Sergeant Shelley Johns said The Daily Telegraph.
She couldn’t believe that the man she knew could have done these things.
Investigators have also contacted the victims to inform them that their attacker has been identified, but that due to his death no further legal action can be taken.