Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Rick Chance

Brandi

Brandi Hungerford
Brandi Hungerford

Brandi Lynn Hungerford was adopted from South Korea and brought to Grand Rapids, Michigan, one of the most religiously and politically conservative areas in the United States. Rick Chance would have been at home in Grand Rapids, the hometown of Gerald Ford and Amway Corporation the multi-level sales business built by self-made millionaires Dick DeVos and Jay Van Andel. In parts of Grand Rapids, fast food restaurants do not open on Sunday and woe unto the homeowner who uses the day of rest to mow his lawn.

How the adopted daughter of a machine shop foreman would go from having dreams of being a nurse in one of America's most conservative Christian enclaves to dancing nude for an outcall service is a story of dashed hopes and tragic choices.

When she was a teen, Hungerford moved with her parents to Tempe and planned to take classes at Arizona State University. Looking for a job one day, she happened across an advertisement that would change her life forever. It said "Looking for models."

The mug shots and surveillance camera stills don't do justice to Brandi Hungerford. She is a pretty young woman with exotic good looks. But the modeling work she was hired for was not the kind that would put her on the cover of Vogue.

Using the stage names "Eden" and "Tiara," Hungerford was licensed as an escort in Maricopa County. The work was barely a step above prostitution, according to news reports. For a fee, she would travel to a hotel room or home and while she shed her clothes and danced provocatively, the customer would masturbate. A bodyguard would accompany her to make sure nothing got out of hand.

At the top of her game, Hungerford was bringing in $1,200 a week. Much of the money went to pay for her father's chemotherapy, the Arizona Republic reported. Her father's illness and the nature of her work changed Hungerford, friends said. She became sullen, cold and materialistic. By the time her father died in 2001, she was almost a completely different person.

From her job as an escort, Hungerford moved into the world of exotic dancing, taking a job at Christie's, an upscale club where men would often pay extra to have her dance in one of the facility's private rooms.

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