Man Sentenced to Life Plus 30 Years for Deadly O.C. Day Spa Bombing

Emma Grant

An angry Long Beach man was given a harsh sentence for killing his ex-girlfriend in a shocking act of violence. On Thursday, Stephen William Beal, 64, was given a sentence of life plus 30 years in federal jail for bombing an Aliso Viejo day spa in 2018. The attack killed one person and hurt two others.

Authorities say Beal did it because he was angry about breaking up with Ildiko Krajnyak, 48, who co-owned the spa and died in the explosion. Two spa guests were also seriously hurt in the blast. Among other things, Beal was found guilty by a federal jury last year of using a weapon of mass destruction to kill someone.

As she handed down her sentence, U.S. District Judge Josephine L. Staton said she was shocked by how cruel the act was. “The evidence is overwhelming that this defendant set in motion this terrible chain of events that ended in tragedy,” she said, adding that Beal’s actions were “chilling” and showed no care for human life.

The sentencing is the end of a long legal process for Beal, who was first suspected when witnesses said they saw a box on the property days before the crimes. FBI agents found important items that matched the device at Beal’s home, but he denied being responsible, even though prosecutors said there was “overwhelming” proof against him.

It’s been almost four years, and Krajnyak’s family is still mourning her shocking death. For taking away Ildiko’s future, her sister called Beal a “evil coward” and said that her death “has left a permanent, gaping hole in our lives.”

Prosecutors also read comments from the two people who were hurt, who had to go through painful healing processes and will always be affected by their injuries.

Authorities have finally done something that survivors and loved ones have been waiting for: Beal is likely to spend the rest of his life in jail. But the pointless bombing destroyed the lives of both the victim and the person who did it forever.

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Emma Grant is a highly regarded legal news expert with a deep understanding of constitutional law and its implications in contemporary society. With her extensive background in legal journalism and analysis, Emma Grant has established herself as a trusted authority on the intersection of law, policy, and society.