Australian police identify serial rapist, 40 years after first assault using DNA technology

Australian police identify serial rapist, 40 years after first assault using DNA technology

His family and friends remembered him as a much-loved father, grandfather, and community member.

A serial rapist, who sexually assaulted 31 women over the past fifteen years, has been arrested by Australian police, the Independent reported. Keith Simms, also known as the 'beast of Bondi', was arrested with the help of DNA technology. The accused died at the age of 66 in February.

Simms targeted several women between 1985 and 2001, entering their homes or attacking them while they were out jogging. Initially, the police believed that different men were responsible for the attack and each incident was independently probed, but the police started joining the dots in the 2000s.

His family and friends remembered him as a much-loved father, grandfather, and community member, local media reports said.

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

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The victims-aged between 14 and 55 - all gave similar descriptions of their assailant, the BBC said in a report. The accused wore casual clothes, had a dark complexion, and kept his face covered, the victims revealed in their descriptions. He either threatened his victims with a knife or made them believe he had one on him, they said.

In a big breakthrough, the investigators found familial DNA in the police database, which narrowed the suspect pool down to 324 people. A sample from Simms was found to be a perfect match for those taken from the victims.

The accused, who terrorised Sydney over three decades, has also been linked to 19 other crimes between 1986 and 2001, according to a report from 7NEWS Australia. His last crime took place at a nearby cemetery in 2001.

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