The majority of parents do everything to provide their children good lives. But letting those kids you took care of with love out in the world of reality that includes bullies and predators takes strength.
All such possibilities narrow down to a question. What would you as a parent do if you learned somebody hurt your child? Would you seek justice or wait for the court to declare its decision? One such true story is about Gary Plauché, a father who’s his son’s hero.
Who Was Gary Plauché?
Gary Plauché was an American father figure who became known around the country in 1984 for the vigilante shooting incident. He killed Jeff Doucet, a man who kidnapped and sexually assaulted his son, Jody Plauché.
The killing took place while the cameras were rolling and the news TV covered the act live. Doucet was being shifted for his trial. Police officers led him in handcuffs at the airport, and Plauché was looking forward to his arrival with a gun hidden in his boot.
Leon Gary Plauché was born on November 10, 1945, in Baton Rouge. He served in the U.S. Air Force and became the Staff Sergeant. After retiring from the army, Plauché led the life of an equipment salesman and a cameraman for a local news station.
Therefore, it was clear that all Plauché wanted was an ordinary, quiet life away from drama. But a day in 1984 came when everything turned his world upside down.
Jody Plauché Went On A Ride With A Trusted Family Friend
Gary Plauché resided in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the U.S. He had separated from his wife, June, around this incident. Their 11-year-old son, Jody, was taking karate lessons from a 25-year-old instructor, Jeff Doucet.
The Plauché family trusted Doucet, and Jody and the rest of the students loved to spend time with their master. However, a part of the story Jody’s parents did not know until later was that Doucet had sexually abused Jody for over a year.
In February 1984, Doucet took Jody for a ride. June, Jody’s mother, thought that she was trusting her kid with a family friend and let him take Jody for what was supposed to be a 15-minute ride around the corner.
But, it turned out Doucet kidnapped Jody and took him to a motel in California. Doucet, the 25-year-old man, raped the 11-year-old Jody. Luckily, Doucet allowed Jody to make a call to his mother when he asked for it.
Driven with utter disappointment with Doucet, the police were recording his parents’ phones. This way, the California police could trace Doucet and Jody down. They raided the motel in California and arrested Doucet while Jody was handed over to his parents.
Gary Plauché Took Justice Into His Own Hands
On March 16, 1984, Jeff Doucet was arrested after the police tracked him down at the motel. He was flown back from California to Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport for his trial. The policemen led Doucet by his handcuffs.
Mike Barnett, the Sheriff Major who was friends with Gary Plauché, informed him about what Doucet had done to his son. So, an enraged father, Plauché, was waiting for Doucet at the airport. He got the information about his arrival from some close friends who were also high-ranking officers.
Gary Plauché waited at the airport with a gun talking to a friend over the payphone, seeking revenge for his son. He wore sunglasses and a cap to disguise himself.
As Doucet passed by him, Plauché took out the pistol from his boot and shot him in the right side of his head. It was a point-blank range. Therefore, the policemen restrained Gary Plauché and pinned him against the telephones. This entire incident was covered by national TV. Jeff Doucet passed away the following day.
Mike Barnett kept asking Gary Plauché, “Why, Gary, why’d you do it?” And Gary replied in tears, saying, “If somebody did it to your kid, you’d do it too!” He disarmed his friend and arrested him.
The Aftermath Of The Shooting
After Doucet was shot dead by Gary Plauché, the police arrested him on charges of second-degree murder. Gary’s lawyer tried to prove him innocent, saying his son’s trauma led him to act psychotically and take that step. However, it was proven that Gary was in his right senses when he shot Jeff Doucet.
Plauché pleaded no contest and was not taken to prison for the murder he inflicted on Jeff Doucet, the kidnapper, and molester of his son, Jody.
Plauché received five-year probation along with 300 hours of community service. He died on October 20, 2014. Whenever asked about this incident and if he regretted his actions, Plauché was sure about his response.
He believed that any other parent would have done the same thing if they had his opportunity if a pervert raped their child.
Even his buddy, the Sheriff Major Mike Barnett, believed that Gary did what any other father would have done for his kid. After the incident, Jody suffered from nightmares but later progressed well with his life and wrote a book about the same and led a normal life.
Gary Plauché – An Everyday Hero?
The society we live in is expected to go by the established laws. The outside may seem like it had come far ahead from the 1800s when you settled matters with gunfire. However, regardless of how civilized we may think we are, such instances tell you differently mentally and morally.
Imagine yourself in a place where you find the reason for your kid’s distressing situation. When you find your answer, you can judge if Gary was his son’s hero or the killer of another human.