Trial Underway For Steve Mandell, Ex-Chicago Cop Accused In Grisly Murder-For-Hire Case

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The trial for a former Chicago police officer who allegedly planned to kidnap, torture and kill a man got off to a bizarre start Tuesday and Wednesday with dramatic testimony and recordings of lurid conversations.

In October 2012, Steven Mandell (formerly Steve Manning) allegedly planned to disguise himself and former Willow Springs, Ill. officer Gary Engel as federal marshals before arresting their victim, Steve Campbell, and taking him to a “killing chamber” he’d helped build inside a storefront on the city’s Northwest Side. There, they allegedly planned to torture him into handing over real estate and money before they killed him.

Mandell, 62, referred to the killing chamber as “Club Med” in recordings played in court Wednesday, WGN reports. The recordings had been taken by George Michael, who worked as an FBI informant for five months.

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