Sydney's 'Bondi Beast' rapist revealed

Thirty-seven years after his first attack, NSW Police have identified a serial rapist who terrorised women in Sydney's eastern suburbs for decades.

DNA testing has revealed the culprit to be a 66-year-old man who died from kidney failure In February, and who has been named in media reports as Keith Simms from Sydney's La Perouse.

Between 1985 and 2001, Simms targeted women aged between 14 and 55, entering their homes or striking while the women were out jogging or walking.

Victims told police he used a knife or threats to subdue the women and kept his face hidden during the attacks to conceal his identity.

The media referred to Simms over the years as the Centennial Park rapist (1980s), the Bondi rapist (1990s), the tracksuit rapist (2000) and the Bondi Beast (2016).

The breakthrough in identifying him came after Strike Force Doreen was established in 2005 to investigate five sexual assaults which occurred in Sydney's eastern suburbs in 2000.

By analysing evidence from 31 sexual assaults and attempted sexual assaults between 1985 and 2001, police arrived at the realisation one man was behind all of them.

DNA evidence directly linked 12 of the incidents and modus operandi was used to link the other 19 to the same offender.

"Strike Force Doreen investigators have since contacted the survivors and advised the man has been identified, but due to the circumstances, no further legal action can be taken," police said in a statement on Monday.

Police also took the opportunity to remind survivors of sexual violence that reporting matters at the earliest chance could result in vital evidence being secured.

"It's acknowledged that reporting sexual violence can be distressing and traumatic, but it is always the choice of an individual whether to proceed with an investigation or not," police said.

"When there is forensic evidence available, an investigation can proceed at a later date, if the victim later chooses to move forward."