DNA breakthrough identifies Sydney grandfather as Bondi Beast rapist

A DNA breakthrough has identified a Sydney grandfather as the notorious Bondi Beast rapist, effectively ending a decades-long cold case.

Keith Simms.

It comes as detectives investigated 31 cases of attempted and confirmed sexual assault which happened in Sydney’s eastern suburbs between 1985 and 2001.

Detective Superintendent Jayne Doherty told The Sydney Morning Herald that “advanced DNA technology” has produced a perfect semen match to 12 of the cold cases.

“We were given a link to a broad number of people who were possible contributors,” Doherty said.

“And then through the dedicated hard work over the last six years of the sex crimes squad we were able to then bring that link down to a single person and identify the contributor of that DNA. No two people share the same DNA, and that’s why we’ve been able to come back to this one person.”

The person in question is 66-year-old La Perouse grandfather, Keith Simms.

However, Simms died in February this year, meaning police will not be able to bring a conviction against him.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Simms’ family told police they were shocked at the news and had no idea about his “double life”.

The Bondi Beast, as the offender came to be known, singled out women exercising in public places, one of which was the Bondi to Coogee coastal track.

Some women were also attacked in their homes as they slept and victims ranged in age from 13 to 55 years old.

“There were many similarities. There were the offences that were committed in people’s homes in the middle of the night. And in nearly all cases where a house was broken into, it was in the same circumstances,” Detective Acting Inspector Shelley Johns said.

“And then on the other hand, there were the women who were out and about doing their normal daily activities; jogging, walking, exercising, and all of a sudden have been grabbed by this man from behind, dragged into some bushes or a secluded area and sexually assaulted.”

NSW police are urging anyone who has been the victim of a sexual assault to come forward.

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