Alleged Torture Target Takes Stand in Ex-Cop's Trial

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    Prosecutors say Steven Mandell was arrested before he was able to carry out his extortion plan. Charlie Wojciechowski reports. (Published Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014)

    A suburban businessman prosecutors say was the intended extortion victim of a former Chicago police officer took the stand on Wednesday.

    Steven Mandell, 62, is accused of plotting with another man to abduct Steve Campbell and take him to a fake business at 5803 West Devon Avenue where he would be tortured and forced to sign over real estate deeds and other items.

    Handcuffs, Saws Found in Torture Chamber: Prosecutors

    [CHI] Handcuffs, Saws Found in Torture Chamber: Prosecutors
    Prosecutors describe items they say were going to be used to restrain, torture and kill inside a storefront on West Devon Avenue. Charlie Wojciechowski reports. (Published Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014)

    Prosecutors say Mandell and Gary Engel planned to kill Campbell and dismember his body, and also plan to do the same to Campbell's daughter and Anthony Quaranto, a consultant to the Polekats strip club that Mandell hoped to take control of.

    Campbell said Mandell did not make eye contact Wednesday during his testimony on the stand.

    FBI Surveillance Video Captures Alleged Torture Chamber

    [CHI] FBI Surveillance Video Captures Alleged Torture Chamber
    Jurors Watched Shocking Video of Steve Mandell Plotting an Alleged Shceme to Lure, Torture and Kill a Suburban Businessman (Published Friday, Feb. 14, 2014)

    Campbell testified about properties he owned, and a suspicious note dropped in his mailbox in October of 2011 along with Mandell's business card inquiring about one of those properties.

    When he called back, Campbell said inconsistencies in Mandell's story were enough to raise his personal radar from yellow to orange.

    Campbell says he first came into contact with FBI informant George Michael in September 2012. Michael was able infiltrate Mandell's plot before the abduction occurred, according to prosecutors.

    In court Tuesday, prosecutors showed jurors some of the items recovered from the building, nicknamed "Club Med," including a collection of knives, a meat cleaver, a Ruger pistol with hollow point ammunition, and a collection of tools that could be used to dismember a body.

    The government is expected to rest on Thursday, which is when Mandell could take the stand in his own defense.