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Global hunt for Sydney serial rapist

AAP logoAAP 31/07/2016 By Daniel McCulloch

A prolific and depraved sexual predator who terrorised women in Sydney's eastern suburbs and has evaded police for more than 30 years is being hunted across the globe.

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 years old, while another was raped outside a public hospital.

At least one attack was committed in broad daylight and many were waged 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.

The original investigation began in 2005 and centred on five related rapes in the eastern suburbs between 2000 and 2001.

Cold case officers struck a major breakthrough in 2007 when a forensic hit connected the predator to the 1985 Clovelly attack.

Investigators have since combed over hundreds of reported sex assaults and interviewed persons of interest, victims and potential witnesses.

Not all of his attacks were linked through DNA, with old fashioned police grunt work also central to connecting the vicious crimes.

Following a decade-long covert investigation, his DNA has been distributed across Australia and a number of other countries in the hope of catching the culprit.

Two "identikit" images drawn from 1994 attacks have also been released in the hope of bringing the man to justice.

An image of a green and gold singlet left behind after another Coogee assault in 1992 has also been released.

Descriptions of the serial attacker's physical build have changed over time and he often used disguises.

But during each 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.

"Ultimately, our view is the best type of closure for these victims is for us to solve this case," he said.

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.

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