Former Chicago cop, Buffalo Grove resident, charged in second murder plot
BY KIM JANSSEN Federal Courts Reporter email@example.com March 22, 2013 3:36PM
Steve Mandell left, formerly known as Steve Manning, leaves the Dirksen Federal Building, Monday, January 24, 2005 with his attorney Jon Loevy. | Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 22, 2013 3:38PM
A former Chicago cop already accused of plotting a macabre kidnap, murder and extortion scheme is now charged with plotting to kill a second man for cash — and of roping his wife into a cover-up from behind the bars of a federal lockup.
Steve Mandell, 61, of Buffalo Grove, was charged late last year with one of the grisliest plots in recent Chicago history.
The feds arrested him on Oct. 25, just moments before they say he planned to abduct, torture, extort, murder and dismember an unidentified businessman in a purpose-built killing chamber.
His alleged accomplice, Gary Engel, committed suicide in prison less than two weeks later.
Now, a new indictment alleges Mandell called his wife four days after he was arrested from the downtown Metropolitan Correctional Center and asked her to help him move a car he’d planned to use in the abduction.
The 2001 Nissan Maxima was parked near the would-be victim’s home, the indictment says. Mandell allegedly wanted to have his wife move the car, then dispose of evidence.
He warned her during a call on Oct. 30 to have somebody else actually move the car, because “maybe they’ll say you’re aiding and abetting a crime or something,” it’s alleged. When his wife asked him a day later whether she should “clean it out, he responded, “Yeah...throw away a lot of stuff,” the indictment says.
Mandell is also accused of plotting a second murder on Oct. 5 — this time in return for a share of the revenues of an “adult entertainment club.”
Neither the victim, nor the strip club are identified in the indictment.
Mandell has a colorful history as a jewel thief and former Chicago cop.
He was convicted of a 1984 kidnap plot, but later was freed on appeal and awarded $6.5 million by a civil jury for wrongful conviction, only to see that verdict also overturned.
He is next due in court Tuesday.