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updated: 10/26/2012 9:43 PM

Body found in truck was mob victim

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By Theresa Norton
Daily Herald staff writer

Editor's Note: This article was first published in the Nov. 15, 1986, edition of the Daily Herald. It provides historical context for the Oct. 25, 2012, arrests of Steven Mandell, then known as Steven Manning, and Gary Engel.

A murder victim found in a truck in Buffalo Grove had ties to organized crime, and his slaying may be linked to a similar gangland-style killing in Vernon Hills earlier this year, authorities said Friday.

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The body of Thomas B. McKalip, 49, of Chicago, was found by police Thursday afternoon in the back of a black Chevrolet Blazer illegally parked at the Cambridge Commons shopping center at the southeast corner of Dundee and Buffalo Grove roads.

McKalip died from two .22-caliber gunshot wounds to the right cheek and right ear, and five stab wounds to the chest, Buffalo Grove Police Cmdr. Gary Del Re said.

McKalip, whose last known address was 1036 W. Taylor St. in Chicago, was released from the Metropolitan Correctional Center in January after serving 6 years for his involvement in a stolen check scheme with reputed mobster James Inendino.

Buffalo Grove police also are exploring a possible connection to the killing of Boris Manning, 72, of Chicago, whose brutally beaten body was found frozen in the trunk of his car at Hawthorn Center in Vernon Hills on March 10 (1986). Police believe Manning was killed to discourage his son, Steven, from cooperating in the investigation of a high-priced burglary ring allegedly run by Chicago police officers.

McKalip's name surfaced in the Vernon Hills investigation, Vernon Hills Police Sgt. Bill Wagner said. He would not elaborate.

"We are talking to Vernon Hills and comparing notes, but I'm not in the position to say there is anything concrete there," Del Re said. "There are some similarities we want to explore."

McKalip's body was found zipped into a khaki sleeping bag, which was covered with two plastic garbage bags, Del Re said. The partially frozen body, clad in blue jeans and a plaid shirt, was in the back of the truck, which police believe was McKalip's own.

In the Vernon Hills case, Manning's body also was found in a sleeping bag, locked in the trunk of his own car. He had been killed by gunshots in the mouth and left cheek, and also suffered a cut, bruises and stab wounds.

Del Re said it is possible McKalip was killed elsewhere and the body driven to Buffalo Grove.

McKalip also spelled his name as McKillip, Del Re said.

McKalip's wife of 21 years, Dorothy, lives in Chicago and said she has not lived with her husband for the past four or five months. She said she did not know where he had been living or working.

"We haven't been getting along," she said.

Police believe McKalip was unemployed, but Dorothy McKalip said her husband had worked for a Chicago sewer contractor.

Federal authorities have prosecuted McKalip three times. In May 1976, McKalip pleaded guilty to theft of an interstate shipment for hijacking a semitrailer full of canned peas and corn, said Gary Shapiro, attorney in charge of the U.S. Department of Justice Chicago Organized Crime Strike Force. He was sentenced to a year and a half in prison.

In March 1978, McKalip pleaded guilty to interstate transportation of stolen property for involvement in a semitruck theft ring headed by Inendino, Shapiro said. McKalip again was sentenced to a year and a half in prison.

The latest conviction came in July 1979, Shapiro said, when McKalip admitted guilt to attempting to cash checks stolen from an insurance company. About 260 checks worth about $500,000 were stolen.

Also convicted in that case were two others and Inendino, a "fairly notorious hoodlum" and mafia member now serving a 30-year term for various charges, including gambling, Shapiro said.

McKalip also had been arrested several times on theft and burglary related charges, though he had not been convicted, Del Re said.

In the Manning case, police speculated that the killing was linked to a high-stakes burglary ring of at least 20 men. Police theorized that the slaying may have been a message to Steven L. Manning, a former Chicago police officer who was rumored to be supplying information in a case against a burglary ring allegedly run by police officers.

Manning and his co-defendant, Chicago patrolman William J. Sorice, were charged with burglary and conspiracy stemming from the Feb. 11, 1985 theft of $100,000 worth of jewelry from a store in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood. Their trial is scheduled for Dec. 11.

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