Man Kidnapped, Tried to Kill Gay Man on Dating App as Part of Hate Crime Scheme, 'As Dahmer Had Done'

Chance Seneca, 21, admitted to police that he specifically fantasized about killing and eating gay men

Chance Seneca
Chance Seneca. Photo: Lafayette Sheriff

A Louisiana man will spend 45 years in federal prison after pleading guilty in a kidnapping case after he kidnapped, then tried to kill and dismember a gay man he met on a dating app, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The man, 21-year-old Chance Seneca, was engaged in a "months-long scheme" to find and murder LGBTQ individuals, the DOJ statement says.

Seneca's disturbing plan began in 2020 when he used the LGBTQ dating app Grindr to find a male target to kill and dismember. After connecting with a man identified as "H.W." in the DOJ statement, Seneca arranged to meet up with the victim. He then drove H.W. to an isolated house, put him in handcuffs, and threatened him with a gun.

Seneca then proceeded to try to kill and dismember H.W, according to the release. In fact, he used "several methods to attempt to murder him." He left after mistakenly believing H.W. was dead.

When he was apprehended and questioned, Seneca admitted to police that he specifically fantasized about killing and eating gay men, as the notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer had done. He also reportedly told authorities he'd planned to keep on killing until he was caught or killed himself.

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"This fascination led him to spend months designing a murder-kidnapping scheme that mirrored the murders of gay men committed by the notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer," the DOJ's statement says. It continues, "Seneca had also intended to eat and preserve the bodies of his victims, as Dahmer had done."

The victim, H.W., spoke out after his near-murder, telling KATC3 he was "staying strong" and wasn't "going to let this incident get to [him]."

When recounting what happened that night, he told KATC3, "Part [of what] I remember is that I reached over to grab something out of my bag. That's when I felt a cord wrap around my throat and he started pulling me backwards."

The victim said he woke up in a hospital, and still has scars on his wrists from where Seneca tried to dismember him.

"The facts of this case are truly shocking, and the defendant's decision to specifically target gay men is a disturbing reminder of the unique prejudices and dangers facing the LGBTQ+ community today," Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division — which was also involved in the case against Seneca — said.

Though his federal case has been closed, Seneca still faces a charge of attempted second-degree murder in state court.

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