Former Chicago Cop w/Questionable Background Gets Life Sentence for Threatening to Extort, Mutilate Genitals, Torture Businessman to Death

Posted: January 11, 2015 in Uncategorized
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CHICAGO (CBS) – A twisted murder plot by a former Chicago police officer ended Thursday with Steve Mandell sentenced to life in prison, plus five years.

Steve Mandell, 63, was convicted in February of plotting to extort money from businessman Steve Campbell, by kidnapping and torturing him in an office he and an accomplice had equipped with saws and a sink in which to drain Campbell’s blood. Mandell allegedly wanted Campbell to transfer ownership of 25 buildings to him, and planned to kill and dismember him after carrying out his torture and extortion plan.


A former Chicago police officer who plotted to torture and murder a successful businessman was sentenced today to life in prison.

The judge said in her ruling Steven Mandell is a threat to the public.

Mandell planned to murder Steven Campbell at a building equipped with an industrial sink, butcher table, and other equipment to cut up Campbell’s body and drain his blood.

Mandell went on a rant before the sentencing denying he had any intention of carrying-out the grisly scheme.

An FBI informant helped bring down Mandell.

Hidden surveillance cameras were also in the building.


Everyone in the courtroom had seen the damning, secretly filmed FBI video of him chuckling inside the meat-cleaver and buzz saw-equipped torture chamber he built on the Northwest Side.

And on Thursday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve sentenced him to life in prison, plus five years, calling him an “evil” man.

“The public needs protecting from you,” St. Eve told an impassive Mandell after he had finally quieted down. “Your actions in this case, Mr. Mandell, were evil, and showed a complete disregard for human life.”

Referring to the shocking video of Mandell and his accomplice, Gary Engel, laughing as they discussed how they’d use a razor blade to turn Riverside businessman Steve Campbell’s genitals into a “banana split” while torturing him into turning over his property portfolio, the judge said, “The thrill you showed in putting another person in pain and in torturing was chilling.

“The glee on your face was very apparent.”

Suspected of at least five murders over the decades, Mandell was sent to Death Row for a 1990 slaying, only to be freed after 14 years when his conviction was overturned on appeal. He went on to  win a landmark $6.5 million civil verdict against the FBI for framing him in that case, but never saw a penny after a judge threw out the judgment, saying there was strong evidence he was in fact guilty.

Mandell’s lawyer, Francis Lipuma, on Thursday argued that Mandell should get credit for the 14 years he spent behind bars “for a crime he didn’t commit,” adding that Mandell ‘s “hope is that at an old age he’ll be able to walk out of prison and have freedom again.”

But St. Eve said that she was “extremely disturbed” that Mandell chose to reoffend after he was sentenced to death in the 1990s. “If that experience didn’t deter you from engaging in this type of horrible crime, then I don’t think anything will,” she said.

Though most criminals mellow in old age, Mandell, who worked as a Chicago cop for a decade in the 1970s and has prior convictions for burglary, will still be capable of murder in his 80s, the judge added. If the FBI had not stepped in to arrest Mandell and Engel moments before they planned to abduct Campbell, Campbell would be dead, she said.

“I do not see an inkling of remorse,” she told Mandell, who took the stand in his own defense at his trial, and who again on Thursday accused the FBI of retaliating against him for getting off Death Row, claiming the Feds had allowed themselves to be hoodwinked by their informant, North Shore real estate magnate George Michael.

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