Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Krystal Dawn Steadman

Deadly Delinquent

Krystal Dawn Steadman
Krystal Dawn Steadman

What happened to Krystal Dawn Steadman on March 19, 2000? And more importantly, why did it happen? The latter of the two questions is perhaps the most difficult to answer. It brings us back to the age-old question of nature verses nurture. Is a person shaped by who they are genetically or by their environment? In the case of Thomas Soria Jr. you may be able to find good arguments for both sides of the coin, however in his father's case, it would be a tough decision. Had his younger years been different, one might argue that he might have turned out to be a far different man then the monster he is known as today. Still, there was clearly something amiss with Soria regardless of the tragedies in his life.

According to reports by both Robert Scott and the Nevada Appeal, Thomas Soria Sr. was born on January 27, 1961, to Jayne Soria. His biological parents divorced when he was a young child and his mother later married a man by the name of Duane Mozingo. Duane also had a son, Ronny, who was born on February 24, 1957. The blended family lived together in Sacramento, California.

Napa State Hospital for the Mentally Ill
Napa State Hospital for the Mentally Ill

Thomas and Ronny never got along and the older boy often picked on his younger stepbrother. His parents shrugged it off as sibling rivalry, however it later became apparent that there was much more going on. According to court records, Ronny molested Thomas on at least two separate occasions, which landed him in the Guadalupe Home for Boys in Yucaipa, Calif. After serving his time there he had various other arrests, which ultimately landed him in the Napa State Hospital for the Mentally Ill. Upon serving his time in 1975, Ronny abducted a 14-year-old girl outside of a shopping mall. He held a knife to the girl's throat and forced her to have oral sex with him. He then brutally raped and sodomized her. He was arrested shortly after the crime and sentenced to five years in prison. He was eventually paroled on August 20, 1979.

Jayne did not get along with Ronny and viewed him as a troublemaker. She put up with her stepson because of her husband, but rarely spoke to him or acknowledged his existence. On the other hand, she and Thomas had grown very close over the years and had a very loving relationship. In 1979, Thomas was accepted to the University of California in Sacramento. His mother was very proud of him for his accomplishments, thus only adding fuel to the fire brewing within Ronny Mozingo.

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