A former Chicago cop has been sentenced to life in prison, plus five years, for his role in an elaborate torture and murder scheme, FOX 32 News reports.
Steve Mandell was convicted in February for his role in the torture and murder plot. He and his accomplice, Gary Engel — who committed suicide in prison in 2012 — planned to abduct a wealthy businessman, Steve Campbell, and take him to a torture chamber they had built.
There, they would torture Campbell — a real estate magnate — until he signed over land deeds to them, and then they would kill him.
On video secretly taken by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Engel and Mandell can be heard discussing how they will torture Campbell before killing him.
“You going to put a little blade there?” Mandell asked, to which Engel replied that he would flay open Campbell’s penis. It would be just like “slicing a banana split. You know what a banana split looks like?”
At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve referenced that part of the video, saying that “the thrill you showed in putting another person in pain and in torturing was chilling. The glee on your face was very apparent.”
“The public needs protecting from you,” she continued. “Your actions in this case, Mr. Mandell, were evil, and showed a complete disregard for human life.”
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Mandell ranted after receiving the sentence. The case against him, he said, was “phantasmagorically ridiculous,” and that “even Helen Keller could see” that he had been framed.
Mandell — who along with this accomplice Engel, had been a Chicago police officer in the 1970s — was previously convicted and sentenced to death for a 1990 murder, only to be released in 2004 after his conviction was overturned on appeal. He has been a suspect in at least five other murder investigations dating back to his days as a police officer.
Watch on his sentencing below via FOX 32 News.