Barbara Kogan, 'Black Widow' Convicted of Organizing Her Husband's Death 30 Years Ago, to Be Paroled

Barbara Kogan
NYPD

Barbara Kogan, the woman who hired a hitman to shoot her millionaire husband dead in the streets of Manhattan, is about to get out on parole next month after serving 12 years in prison for manslaughter, the New York Post reported. Friday will mark three decades since the fateful day George Kogan was shot on the streets of the Upper East Side, the outlet reported.

Kogan, at age 49, was bleeding out, from three bullets to the back, on the pavement of East 69th Street on the Upper East Side on Oct. 23, 1990, the New York Post reported.

His wife, Barbara Kogan, now 77, arranged –– with the help of her trusted lawyer at the time, Manuel Martinez –– her husband's death for $40,000, the Post reported. Martinez was convicted in 2008 and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for his role in hiring a man to kill his client's husband, the outlet reported. 

It took nearly 20 years before Barbara was placed behind bars.

After her husband's death, Barbara collected $4.8 million in insurance money from her husband, who fought for his life in a New York Hospital after he was shot outside of the apartment of his girlfriend at the time, Mary Louise-Hawkins, according to the Post.

Hawkins discovered her boyfriend, dying on the street in a puddle of blood, after Kogan had apparently called out to a doorman to retrieve her from the apartment where the two had been staying, she told the Post in an interview.

"Go get Mary-Louise, I'm dying," she recalled Kogan telling the doorman. "The doorman banged on my front door and said, 'Come quickly, there's been an accident," she said.

“You have no idea what real panic and despair is until you see someone you love lying face down in a pool — no, a torrent of blood,” Hawkins wrote the parole board in a victim impact letter, obtained by the Post.

A man in a bright green baseball cap, who is believed to have fired the shots, was never caught and the revolver was never found.

Hawkins was hired by the Kogans in 1988 as a publicist for their Madison Avenue antiques store, the Post reported. She said she never pursued Kogan in the months after meeting him.

By 1989, Kogan served Barbara with divorce papers and he moved into Hawkins one-bedroom apartment in upper Manhattan, the Post reported.

“I had been cast as someone’s mistress — the tarted-up young lady,” Hawkins said, noting that the Kogans had been estranged for two years prior to the murder, and Barbara herself had taken a State Department worker as a lover.

Hawkins recalls the day he died –– it was pouring rain and he had left the apartment they were both living at to go to the grocery store. "I'll be right back,'" Hawkins recalled him saying.

After his death, Hawkins went on to build a new life for herself overseas to Europe in 1993 –– visiting Manhattan every now and then to testimony before three grand juries and help prosecutors convict Martinez, the outlet reported. 

Now that Barbara is out, Hawkins, who has reportedly been silent over the years has spoken out.

“She’s an animal,” Hawkins told the Post of the woman deemed the “Black Widow" for the "funereal" clothes she'd wear to court. “Barbara is extremely good at manipulating people — even parole officers.” In a July 7 parole hearing, Barbara claimed she never had a plan to claim her husband's $4 million life insurance policy. She also claimed that she was shocked to learn he'd been shot, according to a transcript of the proceeding.

Kogan was granted parole after an abrupt apology — “I feel horrible, okay?”

“Actually, when he was murdered, I was so astounded,” Kogan told two parole board members via videoconference from Taconic Correctional Facility in Bedford Hills, New York, according to the Post. This claim, the Post reported, contradicts her 2010 plea to conspiracy to commit murder and grand larceny.

“I didn’t even — I didn’t think it was me,” said Barbara. “I thought, ‘What is going on here?’”

Hawkins told the Post she was "disgusted" that the parole was granted.

"My main goal was to make sure she stays away from her sons, because she will coerce them and try to get them to feel sorry for her," Hawkins said. "They've been through enough."

 

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