Who is Chance Seneca? Louisiana man, 19, tried to dismember gay Grindr date to keep limbs as 'trophies, food'
LAFAYETTE, LOUISIANA: A federal indictment details a dark scheme allegedly planned by a Louisiana teen to “kidnap and murder gay men whom he met online.” Chance J Seneca, 19, of Lafayette, is charged with hate crime, kidnapping, firearm, and obstruction based on his attempted murder of a gay man and his overarching plot to kidnap and murder gay men whom he met online, according to the US Attorney’s Office.
The teenager is accused of kidnapping two gay men he met through a dating app, Grindr, in June 2020. Seneca tried to kidnap one other person but failed during that same time period, according to the Department of Justice. A grand jury accused Seneca of six additional federal charges on March 18, 2021, which was filed in the Louisiana Western District Court. According to the federal criminal complaint, Seneca admitted in separate interviews with a Lafayette Police Department detective and an FBI agent that he had planned to kill the gay man.
Seneca allegedly beat up 18-year-old Holden White, to an extent that he ended up in the hospital in a very critical condition. Seneca allegedly stabbed him in the neck during one of those alleged attacks. That victim told other Louisiana media outlets he, “suffered from strangulation that popped nearly every blood vessel in his face, six stab wounds to the neck, blunt force trauma to his head and cuts so deep to his wrists that his hands were nearly sawed off.”
According to the charges on him, on June 19 and 20, 2020, Seneca attempted to kidnap one man and successfully kidnapped two other men through the app. The indictment further alleges that Seneca attempted to murder one of these men because of his gender and sexual orientation and he intended to dismember and keep parts of the victim’s body as trophies, mementos, and food. The chargesheet further reveals that Seneca owned a firearm in furtherance of the hate crime and that he tried to cover up his actions by deleting messages between himself and the victim of the attempted murder.
During the interviews, Seneca said he invited White to hang out at his father’s house in Lafayette because he knew the house would be empty. Seneca said his father was “working off-shore at the time.” But Seneca told investigators that rather than having a date, he lured White to the house with the purpose of murdering him and dismembering the body. Seneca told the FBI agent he considered the Grindr app to be his “hunting ground.”
According to the criminal complaint, Seneca told the police, that he convinced White to put on handcuffs and go into the bathroom for a “sexual encounter.” Seneca said that he spoke to the FBI agent a few days later, revealing that he had also held a gun to White’s back. White recalled the situation differently months later. He told KLFY-TV that he and Seneca had been playing video games; he did not mention handcuffs. White said Seneca left the room briefly, came back with a cord and suddenly wrapped it around White’s neck. Seneca said that he “strangled White from behind until White was unconscious” and placed him in the bathtub.
Seneca explained to investigators that once he had White in the bathtub, he stripped the victim’s clothes off before slicing the victim’s wrists down to the bone. Seneca confessed that his plan had been to “remove and preserve White’s hands,” according to the criminal complaint. But Seneca said he couldn’t go any further after seeing “the bones of White’s wrists exposed under the flesh.” Seneca claimed he started crying and told himself “not to bitch out.” He said he apologized to White for all that had transpired and told White to “let go… I’m setting you free.”
Seneca then dialed 911 and told the dispatcher that someone had been strangled. According to the criminal complaint, Seneca made further statements to the dispatcher saying: “I really f***** up my life tonight” and “I tried to control everything so good.” He also said “I don’t want to be killed” and “I just want help.” Seneca later told investigators his statements were part of his “effort to be put into a mental institution.”
When the Lafayette Police Department officers arrived, Seneca was standing outside of the house smoking a cigarette. The officers found White naked in the bathtub with strangulation marks around his neck and his wrists cut open to the bone. He also had several stab wounds in his neck. Weapons including an ice pick saw, hammer and knife were found near the bathtub. White was taken to the Lafayette General Medical Center and was placed on a ventilator and was in a coma for three days. He remained at the hospital for around a month and has been undergoing physical therapy to regain the use of his hands.
After the attack, White’s sister started a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for medical expenses and to help support her brother throughout his recovery. The campaign raised $112,217 of the $100,000 goal.
The FBI is leading the investigation. This case is being executed by Assistant United States Attorney Robert C Abendroth of the Western District of Louisiana and Trial Attorney Thomas Johnson of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.