Gary Plauché, a father from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, experienced every parent’s worst nightmare when his son was abducted and sexually assaulted. Overwhelmed with grief and danger, he decided to take matters into his own hands. In a dramatic turn of events, Plauché found the man responsible and immediately shot him in the head at an airport.
This shocking incident was witnessed by people present and recorded on video, which quickly went viral on YouTube with over twenty million views.
The public response was intense, leading to the creation of a social media fund to support Plauché’s release. Many sympathized with him and believed he should avoid the consequences of his actions. In the following chapters, we will delve into the details of this compelling case, exploring the unfolding events and the aftermath of Plauché’s actions.
The Story of Leon Gary Plauche
Leon Gary Plauche, known as Gary, was born on November 10th, 1945. He served in the army and worked as an equipment salesman and cameraman. Gary got married and raised four children in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Despite his separation from his wife, Gary remained a dedicated father who struggled emotionally with not being able to live with his children. On February 19th, 1984, Gary’s life changed dramatically when he received a phone call from his estranged wife informing him that his son, Jody, was missing.
Jody had gone out with a friend, assuring that he would be back within fifteen minutes. However, his extended absence caused concern and his mother contacted the police. Jody’s sudden disappearance led to one of the largest manhunts in the United States, with people from all over paying attention. It was later discovered that Jody had left with his 25-year-old karate instructor, Jeff Doucet.
Who is Jeff Doucet?
Described as a solitary person with no intimate connections to friends or family, Doucet cherished his students and considered himself a guiding figure, resembling either a young father or an older brother. He frequently organized outings, such as skating trips, for his students.
Additionally, he maintained a close friendship with the Plauche family, having taught three out of their four children. Regularly sharing meals and participating in social gatherings at their home, the Plauches were unaware of Doucet’s true nature. Behind the scenes, he possessed dangerous skills as a manipulator and a pedophile who had been grooming the family with the intention of sexually abusing Jody. At the time of the kidnapping, he had been subjecting Jody to regular abuse, sometimes even twice a day, for a one-year duration.
The Abduction of Jody Plauche
Doucet was in trouble for stealing money, and he needed to run away fast. But he didn’t want to leave Jody behind. So, Doucet went to pick up Jody from his mom’s house and told him they had to go do some quick errands. But instead, Doucet drove them a really long way, about 200 miles. He also changed Jody’s look by cutting off his hair and making it black. If anyone asked, Doucet said Jody was his own son. But Doucet made a mistake. He let Jody call his parents to say he was okay.
Jody called his mom on February 29th and told her where they were. The police came and arrested Doucet. They took Jody back home to be with his family on March 1st. The police started getting the paperwork ready to send Doucet back to Louisiana. During this time, Jody’s dad, Gary, was very upset and had a hard time dealing with the news that his son had been hurt. He was on the lookout to seek information when Jeff Doucet was to be brought to the airport to transfer him for the trial.
A Father’s Act of Revenge: The Shooting Incident
On March 16th, Doucet was brought to the airport with guards around him. There were lots of reporters there, hoping to see him. In the midst of all the reporters was Gary Plauche. He tried to hide by wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses. Plauche stood by the payphones, looking out for Doucet.
When the police were escorting Doucet, Plauche took out a small gun from his pocket. He shot Doucet in the head from very close up, right in front of the cameras. It happened so fast. Doucet was rushed to the hospital, but he was in a deep sleep and sadly didn’t wake up. He passed away the next day. Plauche didn’t try to run away. He stayed there and was immediately arrested by the police.
Incarceration and Verdict
Plauche faced a charge of second-degree murder. The people who supported him posted and paid for his bail. When his case went to trial, he opted for a plea bargain for manslaughter. Surprisingly, the judge was determined to ensure he would not serve any prison time for the crime. Instead, Plauche received a suspended sentence of seven years, five years of probation, and had to complete three hundred hours of community service.
In 2014, Plauche passed away from a stroke, but he maintained that he had no regrets throughout this ordeal. Jody, after undergoing extensive counseling, managed to work through the trauma and became an advocate for abuse survivors. He chronicled his experiences in a book, where he mentioned his inability to condone his father’s actions but understood why he took the law into his own hands.
He firmly stated that, in his opinion, it is crucial for a parent to be there to support a child through such a traumatic experience rather than seeking legal prosecution. Gary Plauche tearfully responded during questioning about his motives for arresting the abuser, stating that if someone had done the same to their child, they would have acted in a similar manner.
Where is Jody Plauche Now?
In contrast, Jody Plauché required some time to process and come to terms with his traumatic experience. As a result, he transformed his ordeal into a captivating book titled “Why, Gary, Why?” Within this book, Jody shares his perspective and insights to assist parents in safeguarding their children from similar situations.
Additionally, aside from his writing pursuits, Jody derives pleasure from cooking and generously shares his recipes online with others. Despite having found a way to accept his past, Jody still finds himself ruminating over the distressing events of his youth. It is unfortunate that reminders of these occurrences persistently surface on the internet. Even when he uploads cooking videos on YouTube, individuals often divert their attention to his father’s actions rather than focusing on the culinary creations he presents.