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‘Black Widow’ Barbara Kogan admits she spent every penny of the $4.2M in life insurance

New York’s notorious Black Widow, Barbara Kogan, plans to work as an anti-violence counselor following her release from prison last month, and has admitted that she claimed the $4.3million life insurance left by the husband she had killed and spent every last dime, DailyMail.com can reveal.

Kogan, was granted parole in July having served just 12 of a possible 36-year sentence for hiring a hitman to gun down her estranged husband, George Kogan, 49.

Now, DailyMail.com has obtained the transcript of Kogan’s Parole Board hearing and can today reveal exclusive details of the proceedings that led to her sensational release.

Barbara Kogan, 77, was released on parole last month after serving 12 years of a possible 36-year prison sentence for her part in her husband’s death

Manuel Martinez was convicted of arranging the hit for $40,000 with Kogan

Manuel Martinez, was convicted of arranging the hit for $40,000 with Kogan

Manuel Martinez, right, was convicted of arranging the hit for $40,000 with Kogan (left) He is currently serving a sentence of 25 years

The 77-year-old inmate appeared before two Parole Board members via video link from Taconic Correctional Facility in Bedford Hills, New York, where she served out her sentence for the 1990 killing.

Antiques dealer George was found in a pool of blood on the sidewalk near the East 96th Street apartment of girlfriend Mary-Louise Hawkins. His last request was for somebody to get Hawkins as he lay dying in the street. He had been shot three times.

George Kogan in a class photo; the millionaire was shot three times by a contract killer hired by Barbara Kogan in October 1990

George Kogan in a class photo; the millionaire was shot three times by a contract killer hired by Barbara Kogan in October 1990

It was a crime that Kogan, whom he was in the midst of divorcing, did not even acknowledge for two decades. 

She only admitted her part in it in 2010 when her co-conspirator, lawyer Manuel Martinez was arrested and charged for acting on her behest and paying a hitman $40,000 to do the deed. He is currently serving a sentence of 25 years.

Kogan was charged on three counts and pleaded guilty to all: manslaughter in the first degree, conspiracy in the second degree and grand larceny in the first degree.

But in the bizarre and often contradictory account seen by DailyMail.com that Kogan gave to the parole board this summer, she claimed to have lied to the trial judge in order to secure her plea deal; to have taken her husband’s $4.3million life insurance though she knew it was wrong; and to have been ‘astounded’ when she heard that he had been murdered, despite the fact that she had given the go-ahead for the hit.

Kogan admitted at trial to having traveled with Martinez to her native Puerto Rico where the plan to have her husband killed was hatched and the funds secured.

But when questioned by Parole Board Commissioner Otis Cruse earlier this year, she backtracked and, though there had been no mention of airplanes, oddly stated, ‘We didn’t get that money, it wasn’t planned on the back of an airplane whatsoever, no, not that I know of.’

When Cruse pointed out that this account ‘differs considerably’ from the record that showed she received $100,000 from her parents to pay the hit man, Kogan said, ‘Well, I took a plea and they asked me all these questions, I just said yes…I said yes just to agree with what I said during my plea.’

Kogan claimed to recognize her crime and ‘feel horrible’ for what she had done. But, far from appearing contrite, when questioned about her earlier account Kogan took issue with the notion that she had ever ‘discussed’ having her husband killed, before admitting to ‘having talked about it.’

And she showed no compunction in fighting for the $4.3million life insurance policy on the table following her husband’s death.

This was brought up at her parole board hearing and again, Kogan’s account was confusing and contradictory.

DailyMail.com has obtained the transcript of Kogan's Parole Board hearing and can reveal exclusive details of the proceedings that led to her release

DailyMail.com has obtained the transcript of Kogan’s Parole Board hearing and can reveal exclusive details of the proceedings that led to her release

She said that she intends to enroll in Lehman College in the Bronx and volunteer at an outpatient facility while studying to gain certification in anti-violence

She said that she intends to enroll in Lehman College in the Bronx and volunteer at an outpatient facility while studying to gain certification in anti-violence 

Asked if she received the money she stated, ‘Yes I did. Now, I just want to add what [sic] has nothing to do with the fact of my guilt. I am guilty. At the same time, I was advised by his [inaudible] to call [redacted] and ask him to give me copies of the policies because I wanted to know – because we were getting ready to settle for divorce and we were going to use the cash value to settle money for our divorce…. Unfortunately, a week later or so…he was killed.’ 

When Commissioner Cruse expressed surprise at her use of the word ‘unfortunately,’ Kogan claimed, ‘Actually when he was murdered, I was so astounded. I didn’t even think it was me. I really didn’t.’

The commissioner pressed, ‘I mean, it may not have had a date and time established but you knew [that he was to be killed] didn’t you?’

Kogan admitted that she realized what she had done only in retrospect despite the fact that she also recounted shaking Martinez’s hand the night he said, ‘Let’s just kill your husband.’

She went onto admit that about $2.8million of the life insurance went to her husband’s estate (money for which she subsequently fought) and the rest went to her. She said, ‘That left for me about maybe $1.5million and I put aside for my children, so $1.3million.’

But despite claiming to ‘feel horrible’ about receiving the money, when asked if she gave it back, she said, ‘I didn’t because we used it up.’

Kogan told the board that she had done Transitional Services for almost her entire time in prison and that she was a changed woman. She said, ‘I used to be an angry and very bitter woman. Very, very, I mean awful.’

But she gave as justification the fact that she had been left by the man she loved when he fell in love with a younger woman – Hawkins – who worked as a publicist for their store.

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

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

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)

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)

According to Kogan, ‘She tried to take everything away from me, tried to take my home away from me and everything. And I was angry. That’s how this lawyer [Martinez] saw me when I went to attack.’

Kogan told how she has completed courses in both the prison’s Anti-Violence Program (AVP) and Aggression Replacement Training (ART) – a cognitive behavior intervention aimed at reducing aggressive and violent behavior.

She said that she intends to enroll in Lehman College in the Bronx and volunteer at an outpatient facility while studying to gain certification in these disciplines.

The hearing concluded with the commissioner commending Kogan for the ‘work’ that she had done and stating, ‘It takes a lot to muster up the strength and endurance to continue on after trauma. We’ll take that into consideration as well.’

The words must be particularly galling to the girlfriend who witnessed and grieved George’s death.

Mary-Louise Hawkins, who has since changed her name, spoke to the New York Post ahead of Kogan’s release and was firm in her condemnation of the woman who had her lover killed.

She said, ‘She’s an animal. Barbara is extremely good at manipulating people – even parole officers.’


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