A man has admitted to the brutal kidnapping of a gay teen, who he met through Grindr and had planned to murder
A 21-year-old Louisiana man has pleaded guilty to the grizzly kidnapping of a teen he met through Grindr.
In 2021, Chase Senaca was formally charged in what a Justice Department news release called “an overarching scheme to kidnap and murder” gay men. The indictment said Seneca intended to keep parts of a victim’s body as “mementos, trophies and food”, per AP.
In 2020, Senaca, then-aged 19, handcuffed, choked, stabbed and slit the wrists of 18-year-old Holden White, before calling 911 himself and waiting for police outside his father’s house.
Reports said Seneca told police at the time he had called 911 after the attack “in a self-described effort to be put into a mental institution.”
Court papers only gave White’s initials, but his family later identified him and called for law enforcement to add hate crime charges – which were eventually applied.
White survived the shocking assault but was left badly injured and in a coma for three days.
Within the same week of the assault on White, Seneca attempted to kidnap one other man and successfully kidnapped another, according to a release from the FBI.
Seneca was eventually charged in federal court in the Western District of Louisiana on six counts, including hate crime, kidnapping, firearm and obstruction charges.
As part of a plea deal, Seneca, now 21, pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping related to the June 2020 incident involving Mr White, the Department of Justice revealed Thursday (September 29).
Seneca acknowledged his intentions to murder White, aged 18 at the time, “for the purpose of satisfying his homicidal urges.” He also acknowledged his intention to murder more people, until he was either caught or killed.
Speaking to CBS 17 after the attack, White said he and Seneca had been talking for over a month before meeting at Seneca’s place for the date.
After some initial conversation, Seneca left the room only to return and attack him from behind, pulling him backward with a cord and strangling him so severely that “all the blood vessels in my face ruptured” before passing out, he said.
“I remember thinking, ‘Well, this is it,’” he later told reporters. “The last words I said to myself were just ‘stay calm.’ Over and over and over in my head I was just repeating to myself to stay calm.”
According to FBI reports, police found White in a bathtub with his “wrists slit to the bone” and strangulation marks on his neck, AP reported at the time.
“The facts surrounding the events that took place in this case are very disturbing,” said Brandon B. Brown, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana.
“It is nothing short of miraculous that the victims who endured the vicious attacks from this defendant survived. We will continue to fight to seek justice for victims who suffer at the hands of defendants such as this.”
Federal prosecutors said that the statutory maximum for Seneca’s kidnapping offense is life imprisonment, but he could face additional charges if it is determined that White was targeted specifically on the basis of gender or sexual orientation.
Following the attack, White had told KATC-TV that he was certain he was targeted because he is gay. “This is a hate crime due to a fact that he made it a point to choose a gay man on a gay app,” he said in the interview.
“The actions and intentions of the defendant in this case were shocking,” Kristen Clarke, the assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a statement this week.
“The internet should be accessible and safe for all Americans, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. The Justice Department will continue to identify and hold accountable anyone who uses online spaces as a means to terrorize or abuse others.”
Sentencing is scheduled for January 25, 2023.