Multiple rapist known as the ‘Bondi Beast’ finally named

It may be too late for the many victims of the man the press labelled the “Bondi Beast” but police finally managed to link DNA samples to the serial rapist. Unfortunately, the multiple sex offender, Keith Simms, died in February aged 66 before justice could be served.

Simms was known as the “Centennial Park rapist” in the 1980s, the “Bondi Rapist” in the 1990s, and the “Tracksuit Rapist” in 2000 before he became universally known as the “Bondi Beast.”

The beast terrorised Sydney over three decades. More than 30 women were raped between 1985 and 2001. Simms first struck in the seaside suburb of Clovelly in 1985. His last assault took place at a nearby cemetery in 2001.

Australian Police found him difficult to track down because they initially believed several different men were behind the attacks.

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The rapist’s physique fluctuated as he got older and his taste in women was different, as was his range of attacking them.

Simms would either break into women’s homes in the middle of the night and attack them in their beds, or it would be opportunistic, grabbing them as they were jogging or walking and dragging them into bushes or a secluded area. His oldest victim was 55, the youngest a teenager of 14.

Multiple rapist known as the 'Bondi Beast' finally named | News by Thaiger

Victims said he was always either armed with a knife or threatened to use a knife, and spoke with an Australian accent. He kept his face covered and was usually dressed in casual clothing, such as tracksuits, hooded jumpers, and football shorts.

Police said every incident was thoroughly investigated but it was only in 2005 that they managed to link five sexual assaults from 2000. Another seven cases were linked in a DNA breakthrough before further inquiries expanded the investigation to 31 incidents between 1987 and 2001.

The victims all gave similar descriptions of their attacker, that he was 160cm to 180cm tall, had a dark complexion, brown eyes, and a wide nose.

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.

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.”

“We met with his wife and she was absolutely shocked,” Detective Sergeant Shelley Johns told The Daily Telegraph in Australia. “She couldn’t believe the man she knew could have done these things.”

Simms had a 43-year marriage that only ended when he died in February at the age of 66.

At his funeral, held at St Andrew’s Catholic Church in Malabar on March 4, Simms was described as a kind-hearted “hero” and a father figure who loved playing football, partying and supporting the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Investigators 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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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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