A desperate dad got brutal revenge on his child’s rapist, and it was all caught on camera. Afterward, he said, “If it had been your child, you would have done the same thing, too.” After you see what he did, you decide. Would you have done the same?
Gary Plauche’s son Jody was just 11 years old when he was abducted by his karate coach Jeff Doucet, who, like many molesters, tested the limits with Jody, grooming him for abuse, according to ESPN. Doucet repeatedly molested the boy before eventually kidnapping him and taking him to Disneyland.
The abuse began when Jody was just 10. Doucet asked which of his young athletes wanted to learn to drive, and Jody’s hand shot up. The next thing Jody knew, he was sitting on Doucet’s lap, steering a 280Z. “But then his hands were in my lap,” Jody recalled many years later. “I’m thinking, ‘What’s going on here? Maybe it’s an accident?’ So I didn’t say anything. But, now, I know he was testing the boundaries. Textbook pedophilia. They all test boundaries.”
The abuse escalated from there. Doucet would stop practice and send the rest of the kids to 7-Eleven for snacks. “Not you, Jody,” he’d quickly add. “I need to do some extra work with you,” he’d claim. Then, when the coast was clear, he’d shepherd Jody into his back room.
Afraid to tell anyone, Jody would come up with all kinds of excuses why he didn’t want to go to his karate class instead. But, Doucet would show up at Jody’s house anyway and drag him off. Jody’s mom June, believing coaches know best and trusting Doucet, would let her son go with the man, never thinking for one minute that her boy was being molested.
Then, the unimaginable happened. Jody went missing for 10 days when Doucet took the boy on a bus from Port Arthur, Texas, bound for Los Angeles, California. When Doucet finally let Jody call his mom collect, the police tracked the call to a motel in Anaheim. Jody was eventually returned to his parents, but his dad Gary was heartbroken to learn what had happened to his son. A rape kit proved Doucet sodomized Jody while he had him in Anaheim. The father just couldn’t cope with this news. So, he hatched a plan to seek revenge for his boy.
As Doucet was being extradited, he walked off a plane and into the Baton Rouge, Louisianna, airport with a sheriff escort and news cameras rolling. Gary Plauche was waiting by a bank of payphones with a .38 snub-nosed revolver in his right boot. Gary was facing the wall, talking on the phone. “Here he comes,” Gary whispered to his best friend Jimmy. “You’re about to hear a shot.” The rolling news cameras captured the powerful scene that unfolded next.
Gary Plauche wasn’t bluffing. He reached down for his gun, spun around, and fired a hollow-point bullet right into Jeff Doucet’s brain from just three feet away. He then lowered his gun and hung up the phone. “An unidentified man has shot Jeff Doucet in the airport,” the news anchor said as Gary’s wife June had turned on the news at the Plauche residence. Although June hadn’t known what her husband was up to that day, hearing those words, she had a good idea. Her knees buckled, and she fell backward onto the carpet.
In 24 hours, Doucet was dead, and Gary was in lockup — but he wouldn’t be there long. Luckily for Gary and perhaps surprising to the rest of us, a judge ruled that Gary was no threat to the community, and his sentence reflected that. Gary Plauche was freed from jail. He received seven years on a suspended sentence, five years probation, and 300 hours of community service, which he did at his local church, mostly cutting the grass. But, perhaps worse than any time behind bars was his family’s reaction to what he had done.
“You’re going to hell for this, you know that, right?” June told her husband when she first saw him behind bars immediately after he shot Doucet. Gary simply said, “I know.” As for Gary’s son, he was angry too — at his dad. “I didn’t want him dead,” Jody Plauche explained decades later. “I just wanted him to stop.” Jody went on to be a four-sport letterman in high school, but the most important thing he’s done is teach parents how to prevent pedophiles such as Doucet from molesting their kids through his work at a victims’ services center in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
“I got a letter once from a woman, who wrote, ‘I told my daughter if somebody ever touches you inappropriately, it’s not murder. It’s worse than murder. It kills a child’s soul.’ So, what’s that little girl supposed to say if she ever gets molested?” Jody Plauche asked rhetorically. “She doesn’t want her soul to die. So, she doesn’t tell anybody.” According to Jody, his dad made the same mistake. This made him too afraid to tell his dad about the abuse because he rightfully feared his dad might kill the man.
“My dad was absolutely too extreme,” Jody said. “He used to tell people, ‘If anybody ever touches my kid, I’ll kill him.’ I knew he wasn’t kidding. That’s why I couldn’t tell anybody. And, that’s exactly what he ended up doing,” he added. “My dad went to the airport figuring he was going to die,” Jody explained. “He said either Jeff or him was gonna die that night.” Because of this, as an adult, Jody Plauche speaks often about child sexual abuse and encourages parents to not talk about sexual abuse in extreme terms. “It’s not right to take someone’s life,” Jody claimed, “but when someone’s that bad a person, it doesn’t bother you much in the long run.”
June, his mother, sees things differently. “Are you kidding? Do you know how many kids weren’t molested because he’s no longer on this earth?” she asked. As for Gary, he didn’t speak much at all at the very end after suffering a stroke. He has since passed away, but surely, even up to his last day, he remembered. About a year after Gary Plauche killed his son’s rapist, he and his boy were walking along when Jody was suddenly left trembling. He had just seen a man bearing a striking resemblance to Jeff Doucet. Shaken, he told his dad that he really thought it was his abuser. His dad paused for just a second before boldly declaring, “I knew it wasn’t.”