Barbara Kogan, the upper crust Manhattan socialite who had her husband murdered on the streets of New York City over two decades ago, is the inspiration for the next Scorned: Love Kills.
The Investigation Discovery crime series will reenact the case that riveted New York’s elite back in the 1990s, when real estate tycoon, George Kogan, was shot down in front of his girlfriend’s Upper East Side apartment. The case went cold for many years until police were able to connect the dots, which eventually led to his bitter ex-wife, Barbara Kogan. In the episode titled, “Manhattan Murder Mystery,” expect to hear from book experts and law enforcement officials.
Bitter Life For Upper Crust Wife
It was October 1990 when police say a gunman came out of nowhere and shot George Kogan as he left the grocery store, headed back to his girlfriend’s apartment on East 69th Street in New York’s Upper East Side. Initially, he survived the attack and was transported to a local area hospital but died six hours later. In the days and weeks after the murder, police detectives were left trying to find out who had done it.
There were many theories, and some say that he had ties to gangsters who had loaned him money to fund his many businesses. Others wondered about the connection his wealthy ex-wife, Barbara Kogan, had to it. The couple had been involved in a bitter divorce battle over money, and those who knew Barbara Kogan say that she was a woman scorned after her husband of 24 years left her for a younger woman, a publicist named Mary Louise Hawkins.
Money, Mistress, and Murder
During happier times, the couple enjoyed a lavish lifestyle filled with diamonds, socialite parties, and a home in Puerto Rico. But the world as they knew it all came crashing down after Barbara Kogan was accused of discriminating against her employees. The bad publicity almost ruined her antique business and caused more friction in her marriage. In order to fix the problem, she decided to hire a high-powered publicist named Mary Louise, a young beauty who ended up tending to more than Barbara Kogan’s failing business — she also began an illicit affair with Barbara’s husband, George Kogan.
George Kogan left Barbara for Mary Louise, prompting an enraged Barbara to hatch a plan to destroy them both. She began by hiring Manuel “Manny” Martinez, an attorney who could help her find some hidden assets that she believed George had in Puerto Rico. Eventually, they decided to kill George.
In the years after the murder, Barbara Kogan continued her expensive lifestyle after cashing in George Kogan’s insurance policies, which were worth about $4.3 million. The rich widow enjoyed her freedom for 18 years until police were able to establish the connection between Barbara, Manny, and the killer, according to DNA Info.
“Barbara Kogan, nicknamed the “Black Widow” in the tabloids, was the long-time suspect in the contract killing of her estranged husband. She finally admitted to plotting the murder on April 29 as part of a plea deal her lawyer claimed was made to avoid facing down her two sons in court.”
Barbara Kogan was sentenced to 12 to 36 years, and Manuel “Manny” Martinez was sentenced to 25 years in prison. As for the actual killer, the New York Post states the following.
“For years, prosecutors suspected the hired gun was Paul ‘Tony Pro’ Prosano. He has never been charged. Prosano, currently serving 25 years for kidnapping in a series of push-in robberies in 1991, told The Post he didn’t kill Kogan. However, witnesses are expected to testify that Prosano called Martinez after the hit and said, ‘It’s done.’ Prosecutors also have recordings linking Martinez to the hit, according to court papers.”
Watch Scorned: Love Kills featuring the Barbara Kogan case this Saturday at 10/9 p.m. central on Investigation Discovery.
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