Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Rick Chance


For most of the people of Tempe, those who only knew Rick Chance as the flamboyant TV huckster, Chance's legacy will be that of a murder victim who ignorantly placed himself in harm's way by letting his base instincts get the better of him. Whether it was the lure of sex with Hungerford or just the chance to make a few more dollars, Chance's gluttony put him in a position to get himself killed, many say.

But for others who knew Rick Chance well, the loss was far more painful. After he died, dozens of people came forward to say Chance had provided funds for various projects, used his Rolls Royce Corniche to deliver food to a nursing home, and gave $60,000 a year to his late father's church.

Friends told about the man who offered to wash the windows of Chance's estate. The coming rain would have made the effort futile, but Chance gave the man several hundred dollars and asked that he return after the rains left. The man did.

Candess Hunter, an attorney friend, told how Chance was responsible for paying for the care and board of his 96-year-old former babysitter who no longer even recognized him because of the ravages of age. Even so, Chance visited the woman he called "Mama Doll" every week.

Earlier this year, the Athletes International Ministries in Phoenix, a Christian conference for retired athletes, needed money to sponsor 25 athletes, and Chance stepped in.

"He was bigger than life," Pastor Larry Kerychuk told the Arizona Republic. "He's already walked on the streets of gold."

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