A 21-year-old Louisiana man has pleaded guilty to kidnapping a gay man he sought out on Grindr as part of a plot to kill and dismember the victim. Chance J. Seneca committed the crime on June 20, 2020 against a victim who survived, but he admitted his plan was to murder others until he himself was either caught or killed.
The victim was identified in documents only as H.W., but Holden White has spoken publicly about the attack before. White reportedly told the Advocate in 2021 that Seneca didn’t set off any alarm bells during interactions on Grindr and Snapchat. The victim reportedly said he only learned later on that a Facebook page associated with Seneca had a “profile picture of Jeffrey Dahmer, the infamous serial killer who admitted to murdering and dismembering 16 men and boys from 1978 to 1991.”
The feds said there’s evidence that Seneca had similar aims.
“According to his plea agreement, Seneca admitted that on June 20, 2020, he used Grindr, a dating application for gay and bisexual men, to kidnap and attempt to murder H.W., a gay man. Specifically, Seneca acknowledged that he used Grindr to propose a meeting with H.W., and that he drove H.W. to an isolated house, took out a handgun and told him to put on handcuffs,” the feds said in a press release. “Seneca then attempted to murder and dismember H.W. Seneca acknowledged that he intended to murder and dismember H.W. for the purpose of satisfying his homicidal urges, and that he had planned to continue murdering until he was caught or killed.”
The plea agreement was signed in July and accepted by U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhays on Thursday.
As part of the plea agreement, Seneca made several admissions, including that he handcuffed and attempted to murder the victim, “took out a handgun as a ‘dark joke’ when he told H.W. to put on the handcuffs,” had a plan to “preserve and keep” the victim’s body parts, and made efforts to “get rid of” Grindr conversations.
There was also admission by Seneca that “it’s just mostly men,” not women, who he’s wanted to hurt.
“In the course of his Grindr and Snapchat conversations with H.W., Seneca pretended that he was interested in meeting with H.W. for recreational or romantic purposes,” the stipulated factual basis said. “But Seneca’s true purpose was to seize, inveigle, kidnap, abduct, and hold H.W. for the unlawful purpose of killing and dismembering him for his own gratification.”
The defendant drove to his father’s home in a 2006 Toyota Corolla with the victim. It was at that location where the stuff of horror films took place:
Later that same evening, Seneca proposed a sexual encounter and convinced H.W. to put on handcuffs. Seneca then attempted to satisfy his homicidal urges by trying to murder H.W., who at the time was held against his will. Seneca used a belt to strangle H.W. from behind until H.W. was unconscious. After the strangulation, Seneca pulled H.W. into a bathtub, stripped him of his clothing, and prepared to begin the dismemberment process. To make sure that H.W. was dead, Seneca hit H.W. in the back of the head with a hammer and stabbed him in the neck with an ice pick. Seneca also used a Howie knife to slit H.W.’s wrists.
Authorities said Seneca went on to call 911 on himself that night.
“When first responders arrived, they entered the home and found H.W. lying naked and unconscious in Seneca’s bathtub,” documents said. “Officers also saw weapons, such as a knife, ice pick, saw, and hammer, around the bathroom swell as blood on the floor and in the bathtub.”
Remarkably, the victim survived — despite suffering multiple stab wounds to his neck, a wound on the back of his head and cuts on his wrists that nearly resulted in his hands being cut off. The feds say the victim sustained permanent nerve damage in his left hand after his wrist tendons were severed. He woke up in a hospital bed after a three-day coma.
Federal prosecutors, noting that Seneca already faces up to life behind bars for kidnapping, said in the press release that he “faces additional exposure under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines if the sentencing court finds beyond a reasonable doubt that he intentionally selected the victim because of the victim’s actual or perceived gender or sexual orientation.”
Sentencing was set for Jan. 25, 2023, court records show.
Read the plea agreement:
Colin Kalmbacher contributed to this report.
[images via Lafayette Police, Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office]
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