Police hunt man linked to 27 sexual assaults
A global manhunt is underway for a prolific sexual predator who terrorised women in Sydney’s eastern suburbs and has evaded police for more than 30 years.
The man, believed to be aged between 45 and 64, committed 27 violent rapes in a sickening 16-year spree between 1985 and 2001.
‘The vast majority of these crimes were committed very, very quickly with very little warning to the victim and involved violence,’ Detective Acting Superintendent Mick Haddow, from the NSW Police Sex Crimes Squad, told reporters on Monday.
‘Some of these matters involved breaking into people’s homes and committing these crimes.
‘The majority of them, though, were committed in public areas (in) blitz style attacks.’
One of his victims was just 14, while another was raped outside a public hospital.
At least one attack was committed in broad daylight and many of the victims were assaulted near the popular Bondi to Bronte coastal walkway.
His first attack was committed in Clovelly in March 1985, with the last recorded assault at Waverley Cemetery in October 2001.
Following a decade-long covert investigation, police have now released two ‘identikit’ images in the hope of bringing the man to justice.
Descriptions of the serial attacker’s physical build have changed over time and he often used disguises.
But during each horrific assault, he either brandished a knife, or warned his victims that he was carrying one.
He’s described as being about 160-180cm tall, with a dark complexion, dark, wavy hair, brown eyes, and a broad nose. The man spoke with an Australian accent.
‘We are doing everything in our power to solve these crimes and today we are seeking assistance from the public to help us,’ Det Act Supt Haddow told reporters.
He said the predator had inflicted enormous damage on many innocent victims.
‘There are 27 victims out there today who are doing it very, very tough. The fact this has come back after all these years makes it somewhat tougher for them,’ he said.
‘Ultimately, our view is the best type of closure for these victims is for us to solve this case.’
Not all of his attacks were linked through DNA, with old-fashioned police grunt work also central to connecting the vicious crimes.
Investigators have now distributed his DNA across Australia and a number of other countries in the hope of catching the culprit.
Police haven’t ruled out that the suspect has died or fled Australia, but investigators are confident he has not committed a rape since 2001.
‘We’re certainly very hopeful that his luck has run out and we get the information that we need from the public to put him before the courts,’ Det Act Supt Haddow said.