Former Chicago police officer allegedly planned to torture victim

Jan. 9, 2014 at 5:49 PM
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CHICAGO, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- A former Chicago police officer and his partner in crime planned to kidnap a businessman, torture him and kill him, federal prosecutors say.

In a court filing Wednesday, prosecutors released an alleged taped conversation between Steven Mandell, who is scheduled to go on trial soon, and Gary Engel, the Chicago Tribune reported. Engel, a former police officer in Willow Grove, Ill., committed suicide after he and Mandell were arrested in October 2012.

The two men allegedly planned to impersonate federal marshals, tricking the victim into thinking he was being arrested. Investigators say they equipped a Chicago storefront they jokingly called Club Med with the equipment needed for torture, killing and body disposal.

According to the transcript, Engel and Mandell discussed cutting the kidnap victim's genitals, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Their plan was to get him to reveal where his assets were located.

"You going to put a little blade there?" Mandell allegedly asked.

The transcript gave Engel's response: "It's like slicing a banana split. You know what a banana split looks like?"

Mandell, formerly known as Steven Manning, was fired from the Chicago police department in the 1980s. He was sentenced to death in 1990 for killing a truck driver, but his conviction was overturned on appeal.

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