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Did God Protect Me from a Serial Killer?

I didn’t know it until many years later, but I was confronted by a serial killer when I was about 20-21 years old.

A few years ago, I saw a crime show about a serial killer named Rodney Acala. He combed the beaches in Southern California in the mid to late 1970’s. Specifically, Huntington Beach. He picked up girls, maybe boys, under the guise of being a professional photographer. He got them to come to his “studio,” where he took nude photos of them. He then strangled and assaulted them before he murdered them.

While watching the program, I remembered an event that happened to me then. The man’s police photo looked eerily familiar.

I had gone to Huntington Beach by myself. I had never done that before, but I couldn’t find anyone to go with me that day and wanted an escape. I was lying on the beach in my bikini when a man approached me. I remember immediately having a bad feeling. Was it my instincts or the Holy Spirit? I now firmly believe it was God’s Spirit of protection.  The man told me he was a photographer and would love to take my picture.

I forcefully told him no, I wasn’t interested. He backed away like I was contagious. My spirit was so disturbed that I picked up my things, left the beach, and drove home, ensuring he didn’t follow me. That I can remember the incident clearly after over 40 years tells you something about how strong God’s spirit voice can be. If you look up Rodney Acala on Wikipedia, you will see that he was tried for five murders committed between 1971 and 1979.

He had even been on the “Dating Game” TV show during the years he was murdering women. He was conclusively linked to at least 9 killings and was in possession of thousands of photographs of women, teenage girls, and boys, many of which were sexually explicit.  He was sentenced to death in 1980, but the verdict was overturned because jurors had been improperly informed of his prior sex crimes. He would undergo a total of three trials before his death sentence in 2010. Acala died in prison in Corcoran, California, in 2021 at age 77.

All I can say is thank You God, for your spirit and voice that day. I have had many many experiences with similar promptings over the years, but none as dramatic.

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