The Millionaire's Wife
The beloved son of Holocaust survivors, forty-nine-year-old George Kogan grew up in Puerto Rico before making his way to New York City, where he enjoyed great success as an antiques and art dealer. Until one morning in 1990, when George was approached on the street by an unidentified gunman—and was killed in cold blood.
Before the shooting, George had been on the way to his girlfriends's apartment. Mary-Louise Hawkins was twenty-eight years old and had once worked as George's publicist. But ever since they became lovers, George's estranged wife, Barbara, was consumed with bitterness. As she and George hashed out a divorce, Barbara fueled her anger into greed—especially after a judge turned down her request for $5,000 a week in alimony.
Barbara, who stood to collect $4.3 million in life insurance, was immediately suspected in George's death. But it would take authorities almost twenty years to uncover a link between her lawyer, Manuel Martinez, and the hitman who killed George. In 2010, Martinez agreed to testify against his client…and Barbara eventually pled guilty to charges of grand larceny, conspiracy to commit murder, and murder in the first degree. This is the shocking true story of THE MILLIONAIRE'S WIFE.
True crime veteran Scott (The Killing of Tupac Shakur) loses credibility from the outset of this poorly-constructed account of a 1990 New York City murder and its aftermath. She begins by sharing the thoughts and feelings of "middle-aged business tycoon" George Kogan as he walked from grocery shopping to his Upper East Side apartment. But given that George was gunned down on his building's doorstep without sharing those musings in his final moments, it's difficult to surmise Scott's source. Such a fictionalized approach is not a promising prelude. This book details efforts to prove the guilt of the obvious suspect, George's wife, Barbara, who had been spurned for a younger woman, faced with divorce, and who stood to benefit from George's multimillion dollar life insurance policy. But Scott fails to weave plot points into a dramatic story, as when she is unable to explain why it took the NYPD two days to identify Barbara as a suspect, a fact that someone like Ann Rule could translate into a compelling tale. Twenty years later in 2010, Barbara would indeed plead guilty to conspiracy to commit murder (among other charges), but Scott's traversal of those two decades is meandering and dull. Photos.
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Usually enjoy true crime books, but not when the author repeats the same points or quotes numerous time. Then enjoyment turns to monotony to, "I want my money back!". Save your money. If you are interested in this true crime case read a one page Google search result and you will have all the facts without the reputation and mistakes that were missed in editing, and there are numerous.