Referred to as "The Condo King", he's the owner of the New Hope Foundation and an old classmate of Dexter Morgan that hails from Cuba. Originally a bully, after a "run-in" with Dexter, he claims to have changed his ways and is now a "Mother Theresa" in Miami.
Steve is a Hispanic man with well-groomed black hair and dark green eyes. He wears a charismatic smile and a fine gray suit jacket over a black-button up shirt, complete with matching gray dress pants. He's shown to be relatively handsome and fit, even in his youth where he was a prime athlete at Dexter's school.
On the outside, he's referred to as a "Mother Teresa" due to his work with the foundation he runs. In person, he's very charismatic and generous, greeting people a large smile and even hugs people he hasn't seen in over twenty years. To Dexter, despite the fact that he strapped Steve to a table in his youth and almost killed him, he's actually thankful for the experience...claiming that it helped change him for the better. He remains secretive over the exact details around Dexter's wife, though he mentions it at least twice that it's something Dexter wouldn't talk about.
In the past, he used to be a generic bully. Arriving from Cuba in high school, he struggled through many classes so he was pressured to do better with his education. He made up for this by picking on others in school and being an aggressive athlete in sports. When it comes to being a bully, he singled out Dexter and made his life hell...something that Dexter wanted revenge on. He came up behind Steve one day in the locker room when no one was around and knocked him out, strapping him to a table threatening to kill. When Steve awoke, he stared at Dexter potentially scared half to death but didn't make a noise. This event apparently changed who he was.
In the present, Dexter makes note that despite all the time that has passed...he still has the "Same eyes". Suggesting that inside, he's still the bully he once was...and is possibly worse than that.
Steve was born in Cuba, where he immigrated to Miami, Florida and went to the Coconut Grove High School. It was hard on him growing up, he struggled in many of his classes but made up for it by being a tough athlete and scored highly due to his physical capability. Unfortunately, the pressure he faced forced Steve to become a bully and he singled out a classmate by the name of Dexter Morgan to be his patsy. He would often steal his food or purposely throw footballs at his head, even one time at the showers taking his clothes and drenching them in the hot steaming water of the facility, forcing Dexter to walk home drenched.
This attitude however led to Dexter, a budding psychopath, to sneak up behind Steve one day with some wire and knock him out. When he awoke, he was strapped to a table nude with tape covering his mouth and a grinning Dexter above him holding a knife casually. His life in danger, he stared at Dexter frightened to death before the janitor stumbled upon the two effectively saving the boy's life. Dexter was able to get off with this and Steve, ever since that day, left Dexter alone for the rest of their time in high school.
Dexter in the Dark
Dexter Morgan arrives at his high school reunion for Coconut Grove High. Among everyone at the party, Dexter barely knew any of them though some adults made themselves known in less appropriate ways (Judge Graham for instance). When his wife, Rita Morgan, asked if he had someone he was close to in high school like a best friend...it's then that Dexter saw Steve Gonzalez in the distance, a woman on each arm.
He strolled through the dance floor, a man labeled as "number three on the ten sexiest men in Miami list". Rita who basically read aloud his autobiography from memory, insisted on her husband to have them meet. So Dexter reluctantly went along and walked up to Steve, who at first looked at him with a stare before immediately hugging his former classmate. The charismatic attitude he showed was completely different from the bully Dexter once knew and the two conversed, with Steve revealing that Dexter showed him the "error of his ways" though if not melodramatic about it (being strapped to a table has that effect on people, apparently). Due to his change in attitude, he went on to become successful and runs the New Hope Foundation, where he's considered a "Mother Theresa" for all the work he does there.
After being introduced to Rita and spending some time talking, he asks for her hand on the dance floor to which Dexter let's them go for it. He keeps his eyes on Steve, remarking to himself that even after all these years he had the same eyes: the eyes of the bully who once tormented him.
At the New Hope Foundation , Steve is visited by Deborah and Dexter who want to interrogate him in regards of Arthur Bleek's death. Accompanied by his bodyguard Deveaux, Steve greets them and is apparently willing to answer their questions. Gonzalez flirts with Deborah to no avail, and when he is questioned about the murder of Bleek, he states he does not know anything about it. After Deborah gets mad because of a of Deveaux remark, Gonzalez states that Bleek literally lived on the street. Gonzalez proceeds to tell Dexter and Deborah about his program involving Mar Dorado and how the members return to Miami with enough funds to start a new life.
While discussing the case, Dexter states Gonzalez is a suspect while Deborah rapidly targets Deveaux as the main suspect, stating Gonzalez does not seem to have a motive for the murder.
Deborah and Dexter head to the New Hope Foundation to discuss about Deveaux and his past as a Tonton Macoute with Gonzalez. Gonzalez states he knows that about Deveaux and that the point of his organization is to forget the troubled past of his members and rehabilitate them by giving them a second chance. While a patient named Billy is been taken care of, Gonzalez, Dexter and Deborah walk by, and are witness to the patient's trust on Gonzalez and on his organization's purpose. Still, Dexter's Dark Passenger feels something was not right with Gonzalez.
According to Dexter, many more could have been victims of Steve Gonzalez during his years establishing the New Hope Foundation and Mar Dorado.
Deron Sanders and William Metz could also be victims of Steve Gonzalez, as he had a Power of Attorney with their names on his safe.
- Dexter Morgan
- Deborah Morgan
Both of them were attempted victims twice, first during the attack to Deborah's vehicle with a molotov-like explosive and secondly after been captured by Steve's people he was ready to kill them both on a warehouse in his Mar Dorado resort.
- Dexter in the Dark (mentioned)
- Listed as "Number Three" on the Top Ten Sexiest Men in Miami list.
- His role somewhat parallels Joe Walker in the Season Six episode "Those Kinds of Things." In that episode, Dexter goes to his high school reunion (just like in Issue 1 of the comics) and spots Walker in the distance. In the past, Walker was a football star for the school and was potentially a bully to others. He didn't have any notable recollection of Dexter however, just remembering him as sort of a quiet guy but nevertheless talked to him in a charismatic tone.
- However, Dexter went to the reunion to find Walker rather than visit it because he was forced to go. Rita was also already dead by the time Dexter went to his reunion in the TV series and the high schools are completely different (in the Comics it's called Coconut Grove High School while it's the Alan B. Shepard High School in the series).
- He also parallels another character from the TV series, Josh, as both were Dexter's first attempted victims back in school and both were chosen because they've bullied Dexter.
- Steve Gonzalez is the second character Dexter refers to as Mother Theresa, the first one been Alexander Macauley a character with similar social status and also a killer in Dexter In The Dark.
- Steve is the second antagonist to travel to another country (in his case, Venezuela) to escape Dexter's and the authorities' grasp, but was eventually killed in said country by Dexter, who pursued him there. The first antagonist with a similar fate was Lila West. Brandon Weiss also traveled out of the country, but instead of escaping from Dexter, he actually traveled to Cuba in order to prove Dexter is a killer in front of worldwide television. Dexter chased Brandon in Cuba but ultimately failed to kill him there.