A Louisiana man who federal prosecutors say was inspired by notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer and used the Grindr app to target gay men was sentenced to 45 years in prison.
Chance Seneca, 21, of Lafayette, was convicted in 2020 of kidnapping and attempting to murder a gay man as part of a long-running plot to kill and eat his victims, according to the Department of Justice.
“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 said in a statement.
Seneca, who was 19 at the time, was talking to Holden White on Snapchat and Grindr for almost a month, pretending to be romantically interested in order to hide his true intentions of killing him, according to court documents.
In June 2020, Seneca met White in person and took him to his father’s home, where he told White to put handcuffs on with the promise of sex. Instead, Seneca attempted to kill White by strangling him with a belt to the point that he lost consciousness. He then put his body in the bathtub where he hit White in the back of the head with a hammer, stabbed him in the neck with an ice pick, and slit his wrists with plans to dismember him.
Prosecutors said Seneca had intended to keep the body parts as “mementos, trophies, and food.” But according to a criminal complaint, Seneca changed his mind and called 911 to turn himself in, telling police that he had been using Grindr as a “hunting ground” to find victims.
White survived, but spent three days in a coma. In an interview with NewsNation, he recalled being tortured by his attacker.
“I was saying my final words to myself which were, ‘Just stay calm,’” he told the outlet.
According to the Justice Department, Seneca had become “fixated with the idea of killing gay men” and designed a murder-kidnapping scheme that mirrored the killings of gay men by Jeffrey Dahmer.
“Seneca intentionally targeted gay men, as Dahmer had done,” prosecutors wrote. “Seneca had also intended to eat and preserve the bodies of his victims, as Dahmer had done.”
Patrick Lenihan, a spokesperson for Grindr, told BuzzFeed News that the company takes the privacy and safety of its users “extremely seriously.”
"We concur with Assistant AG Clarke that the internet should be accessible and safe for all people regardless of their gender or sexual orientation,” Lenihan added.