Barbara Kogan, the notorious ‘Black Widow’ of New York City, was released on parole after 12 years in prison for ordering a hitman to kill her estranged millionaire husband.
Barbara, now 77, stood to collect $4.3million in life insurance cash with the death of her husband, George Kogan, who had served her divorce papers the previous year and saw victories in court.
George, 49, whose family owned a chain of department stores in Puerto Rico, was shot three times by a contract killer hired by Barbara in October 1990.
His girlfriend Mary-Louise Hawkins, then 29, found him laid on the sidewalk in a pool of blood outside their apartment on East 69th Street, Upper East Side. They had met when she was hired by the Kogans as a publicist for their new antiques store in 1988.
Barbara Kogan, pictured here at her sentencing in 2010, has made parole after 12 years in jail
Barbara fled to Puerto Rico for 20 years, during which she avoided arrest and spent her husband’s millions.
Barbara, who spent $100,000 a year on clothes, jewelry and salon trips and was branded the ‘Black Widow’ due to the bespoke funeral clothes she wore to court, was only arrested for her involvement in 2008.
But now, The New York Post reports that Barbara has been released from prison after she was granted parole in October.
Barbara will be supervised by the New York County parole division. She reported there within one day of her release, a correctional officer told The Post.
While Barbara was relishing in her first taste of freedom, Mary-Louis Hawkins said her release was appalled.
‘I’m disgusted, I really am,’ said Hawkins.
George’s girlfriend Mary-Louise Hawkins, pictured, then 29, found him laid on the sidewalk in a pool of blood outside their apartment on East 69th Street, Upper East Side. They had met when she was hired by the Kogans as a publicist for their new antiques store in 1988
Speaking ahead of her release, Hawkins, who spoke on the condition her new identity and whereabouts would not be released, told The New York Post: ‘She’s an animal. Barbara is extremely good at manipulating people – even parole officers.’
Kogan had a parole hearing on July 7 during which she claimed she was shocked to learn her husband had been shot – contradicting her 2010 plea to conspiracy to commit murder and grand larceny.
She added that she never had designs on his $4million life insurance policy.
‘Actually, when he was murdered, I was so astounded,’ Kogan told two parole board members via videolink from Taconic Correctional Facility in Bedford Hills, New York.
George Kogan in a class photo; the millionaire was shot three times by a contract killer hired by Barbara Kogan in October 1990
‘I didn’t even — I didn’t think it was me. I thought, “What is going on here?”‘, she added.
Hawkins, who has since married and moved overseas, also testified against Kogan’s divorce lawyer, Manuel Martinez, who was convicted of arranging the hit for $40,000.
After he was shot, George, who was coming back from a trip to the grocery store, is said to have told his doorman: ‘Go get Mary-Louise, I’m dying.’ According to witnesses Hawkins screamed: ‘It’s the wife.’
Hawkins said of her former boyfriend: ‘He was sleeping in the spare room. George told me Barbara called him fat, and said that he disgusted her. When I met him he was so miserable, he was slowly killing himself by eating.’
George, who had two sons with Barbara, is said to have been ‘amazed’ when he ‘realized Hawkins washed her own hair’ after his wife’s daily visits to a hairstylist.
Hawkins said: ‘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.’
Speaking at his mother’s sentencing in 2010 Scott Kogan, then 43, said: ‘For nearly 20 years, I have suppressed strong thoughts of suspicion, anxiously focusing elsewhere. I loved them both.’
George’s nephew Taryn Kogan said at the time: ‘For 20 years I’ve thought of this day when I could face Barbara Kogan and call her a murderer, a villain – to your face. But it still won’t bring my uncle back. Your honor, please, this is an admitted assassin.’
Kogan, now 77, (pictured) will be paroled next month after serving just 12 years behind bars following the death of her husband George in 1990 after he was shot three times by a hitman. Hawkins, who has since married and moved overseas, also testified against Kogan’s divorce lawyer, Manuel Martinez, right, who was convicted of arranging the hit for $40,000
Kogan had a parole hearing on July 7 during which she claimed she was shocked to learn her husband had been shot – contradicting her 2010 plea to conspiracy to commit murder and grand larceny. She pictured in 2010, via NBC
In a victim-impact letter submitted to the parole hearing, seen by The Post, Hawkins slammed the decision to release Kogan who she claimed had waged a war of harassment against her ever since George’s death.
‘She managed to obtain my parents’ unlisted telephone number and occasionally dialed them in the middle of the night in order to catch them off guard — to remind them yet again that she wanted the money and valuables she thought George had left behind,’ she said.
‘Just as I would begin to breathe, thinking I was finally free of her, either Barbara or one of her hirlings would call unexpectedly with more than a hint of malice.’
Hawkins added that the cruelty of George’s death continued to haunt her as she added: ‘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.’
George Kogan, 49, was shot three times by a hitman hired by estranged wife Barbara Kogan in October 1990 on East 69th Street, Upper East Side (pictured)