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Feds make shocking new torture allegations vs. ex-Chicago cop

Steve Mandell former Chicago cop leaves Dirksen Federal Building 2004.  |  Sun-Times files

Steve Mandell, a former Chicago cop, leaves the Dirksen Federal Building in 2004. | Sun-Times files

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Updated: February 10, 2014 11:54AM

It’s a scene likely too grisly even for a Quentin Tarantino movie.

But the feds say they caught it on tape: former Chicago cop Steven Mandell and an accomplice, gleefully plotting to mutilate a kidnap victim’s genitals.

A court filing ahead of Mandell’s trial, which is scheduled for next month, includes a gruesome transcript of Mandell chatting on Oct. 25, 2012, with codefendant and former Willow Springs cop Gary Engel about how they’d torture the unnamed victim in a purpose-built killing chamber in the 5300 block of West Devon.

Prosecutors have previously alleged that Mandell and Engel — who both lost their jobs as cops when they were disgraced in the 1980s — were posing as police officers when they were arrested a little over a year ago, moments before they planned to kidnap the wealthy victim. They planned to torture him into handing over real estate, then kill him, the feds say.

Though prosecutors haven’t been shy before in including shocking details from the case, including the allegation that the 62-year-old Mandell boasted he was physically aroused by the thought of torture, the latest revelations are more shocking still.

According to the feds, Mandell and Engel were discussing how they’d tie up the victim, when Mandell asked Engel if Engel planned to mutilate the victim’s genitals.

“You going to put a little blade there?” Mandell asked, according to the feds.

Engel said he would, adding that “it’s like slicing a banana split. You know what a banana split looks like?”

Mandell allegedly made “Ooh” sounds as Engel described the torture, saying he could “feel it,” but cautioned Engel to be “conscious of [the victim’s] heart,” in case he died too quickly.

In addition to the kidnapping plot, Mandell is also accused of plotting to abduct and kill another businessman to seize control of an Outfit-connected strip club, and of plotting from behind bars to murder a key government witness against him.

His wild life story includes several stints in prison and the years he spent on Death Row for the murder of a trucking company boss, before that conviction was overturned on appeal.

Engel committed suicide soon after he was arrested with Mandell in late 2012.


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