June 18, 2012 Special to Crime Magazine
An excerpt from The Millionaire’s Wife: The True Story of a Real Estate Tycoon, his Beautiful Mistress, and a Marriage that Ended in Murder by Cathy Scott. (St. Martin’s Press True Crime Library, March, 2012.)
by Cathy Scott
Chapter 1: A Cool Manhattan Morning
A light rain fell over Manhattan on a weekday morning like any other. But life can change on a dime, and that’s exactly what happened as middle-aged business tycoon George Kogan hurried back to his ultra-chic Upper East Side apartment with a bag of groceries on each arm in anticipation of breakfasting at home with his young lover. The late morning of Tuesday, October 23, 1990, turned out to be anything but a typical day in the city.
On the busy sidewalk, George, who’d recently celebrated his 49th birthday, turned the corner onto East Sixty-ninth Street and headed toward his mid-block building, between Second and Third. As he hurried down the tree-lined street, he didn't notice anything unusual other than the cool morning temperature.
He continued walking toward the canopied entrance to the co-op where he’d lived for the last two years with Mary-Louise Hawkins, a 28-year-old rising star in the public relations world. Across the street, carpenters noisily worked on the new Trump Palace high-rise apartment building. A few blocks away, Central Park was alive with pedestrians, bicyclists, and joggers as they coursed through the park's major arteries to their destinations in New York City, where the drone of urban traffic awaited them. George enjoyed walking the neighborhood. He’d lose himself in the bustling sights and sounds of the city. And this day was no different.
Walking from the neighborhood Food Emporium, he looked forward to spending the late morning with Mary-Louise. Quiet breakfasts were how their relationship had moved from platonic to romantic, and they especially appreciated those moments. Plus, George was anxious to prepare for an afternoon meeting with his son, William, who was acting as mediator to nail down an agreeable divorce settlement with George’s estranged wife, Barbara, and bring to a conclusion the marriage that in essence had ended two years earlier.