Prosecutors Show Torture Tools In Ex-Cop's Trial - NBC Chicago

Prosecutors Show Torture Tools In Ex-Cop's Trial



    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 Tuesday showcased the tools they say a former Chicago police officer was planning to use to torture and extort money from a businessman.

    Steven Mandell, 62, is accused of plotting to abduct businessman Steve Campbell and take him to a fake business at 5803 West Devon Ave.

    FBI agent Kari Pleasant says she recovered items such as handcuffs and safety glass from the storefront that Mandell jokingly referred to on tapes as "Club Med."

    For the first time in the trial, the government painted a more detailed picture of what the defendant and his accomplice intended to do in the space they say was built out to be a torture chamber.

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    FBI agent David Ostrow was tasked with taking pictures of what was found inside the facility, including a table full of saws, pry bars, hammers and other tools that the government says were to be used to torture and dismember the suburban businessman that Gary Engel and Mandell planned to kidnap.

    The pair can be heard discussing the safety glasses on FBI surveillance video recorded inside the building.

    Engel: I'd pick yourself up like this if I were you. Those wrap-around glasses. Mandell: Really? Engel: Yes. Mandell: Now that's the thing about this saw, cuz that thing will be spraying st there's no telling where the splatter will go.
    Mandell watched Tuesday's testimony as he has throughout the entire trial -- quietly, with only brief comments to his attorneys.

    Among the additional tools found inside the Devon building were hemostats and a grinder, along with extra blades purchased at the last minute from a nearby Home Depot.

    The pair also kept a list of Chicago police areas and districts. Prosecutors say it was a sign that the men planned to spend a lot of time with their victims at "Club Med."

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