It’s been nearly 14 years since Nikki Goeser‘s life was forever changed on the evening of April 2, 2009. That was the fateful night a man named Hank Wise fatally shot her loving husband in Nashville, Tennessee, and she now fears his early release could allow him to terrorize her again.
“I think the chances for recidivism are extremely high with Hank Wise,” she tells RadarOnline.com exclusively as the convicted killer is scheduled to be freed in 2028 on early-release “good behavior credits.”
Nikki told RadarOnline.com that she has received at least nine “sick, twisted” love letters — that she knows of — from Wise while he has been behind bars. “This is obsession that has lasted many years.”
Before his murder, Nikki and victim Ben Goeser were a happily married couple who often hosted karaoke at local bars. She said they were planning to start a family and very much looking forward to their next chapter of life together.
The bright future they had envisioned never came to fruition after one of those customers developed a crush on Nikki, and it took a sinister turn.
“I can’t really pinpoint for you exactly when the stalking started because quite frankly, I’m not exactly sure,” she told RadarOnline.com in an exclusive interview. “I didn’t actually realize it until that very night that Ben was murdered.”
That evening, Wise had driven farther than usual to attend a karaoke event that Nikki was at. “I made it clear I want nothing to do with him and he’s here. This is not good,” she told us.
Ben had taken over hosting duties that evening and was standing by the laptop as Nikki watched from behind a wall while Wise was looking for her, she explained.
After being asked to leave by a manager, Wise said he had to go to the bathroom, although he had just gone moments before.
“That’s when he started to back up and unzip his jacket,” Nikki explained. Wise pulled a .45 from his shoulder holster and shot Ben several times, killing him in front of his wife and a crowd of people.
Wise was ultimately convicted of second-degree murder in Davidson County Criminal Court in April 2012 and subsequently sentenced to 23 years in prison.
“It was like a three-day trial and it was a bench trial, so there was no jury. The murderer gets to choose that,” Nikki said. “Judge [Seth] Norman, after hearing everything, decided to drop it down to the lesser offense.”
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Nikki later learned in October 2019 that Wise had been sending her letters for years from prison, mailing them to her former attorney who had represented her in her wrongful death suit against him, which she won.
“It made me want to throw up. You feel physically ill. It’s just trauma on top of trauma and you know, it made me almost feel like the night Ben was killed,” she told RadarOnline.com. “I can’t even begin to tell you how many more nightmares I’ve had.”
“All of that came back. I started having nightmares again when I had worked so hard with a therapist.”
Wise was only charged with one felony for the letters because of the statute of limitations. “That should have been nine,” Nikki said.
Nikki revealed that she hasn’t received more letters after being granted Tennessee’s first-ever lifetime order of protection. Despite that, she told RadarOnline.com that she fears having to look over her shoulder in the future if he is released early.
“If they set him loose, he’s already proven what he’s capable of,” she said. “I think he should serve the full 23 years at truly, 100 percent like he was sentenced to.”