Leon Gary Plauché (November 10, 1945 – October 20, 2014) was an American man known for publicly killing Jeff Doucet, a child molester who had kidnapped and raped Plauché's son, Jody. The killing occurred by use of a revolver on March 16, 1984, and was captured on camera by a local news crew. Plauché was given a seven-year suspended sentence with five years' probation and 300 hours of community service, receiving no prison time. The case received wide publicity because some people questioned whether Plauché should have been charged with murder. Plauché contended that he was in the right, and that any parent in a similar position would have taken the same action.[1]

Gary Plauché
Plauché in 1984
Leon Gary Plauché

(1945-11-10)November 10, 1945
DiedOctober 20, 2014(2014-10-20) (aged 68)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
Known forMurder of Jeff Doucet
Criminal statusDeceased
Criminal chargeManslaughter
PenaltySeven-year suspended sentence, five years probation, 300 hours of community service

Kidnapping of son by Doucet Edit

Gary Plauché, a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was separated from his wife, June, at the time of the shooting. During 1983 and 1984, his 11-year-old son Jody was taking karate lessons with an instructor, 25-year-old Jeffrey Doucet. Unbeknownst to Jody's parents, Doucet had been sexually abusing the boy for at least a year. On February 14, 1984, Doucet kidnapped Jody and took him to a motel in Anaheim, California, where he sexually assaulted and molested him. Jody, the focus of a nationwide search, was eventually found after Doucet allowed the boy to place a collect call to his mother from the motel.[2] California police raided the motel and arrested Doucet without incident.[3]

On March 1, 1984, Jody was returned to his family in Louisiana. In an interview with a news television crew, Gary, having heard reports that Doucet had sexually assaulted his son with a broom, stated that he felt a sense of helplessness.[4]

Doucet's killing by Plauché Edit

On March 16, 1984, Doucet was flown back to Louisiana to face trial. He arrived at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport and was led in handcuffs by police officers through the airport at around 9:30 p.m., where Plauché was waiting for Doucet with a revolver.[4]

An employee of the local ABC affiliate, WBRZ-TV, had told Plauché when Doucet would be arriving at the airport.[5]: 81  A news crew from WBRZ was waiting for Doucet and had set up their cameras to record his arrival. Opposite the news crew was a bank of payphones, where Plauché waited while talking to his best friend on a telephone. He wore a baseball cap and sunglasses so that no one would recognize him.[4]

As Doucet was escorted through the airport, he passed the news crew who were taping the scene. He then walked past Plauché, who took out his handgun and fired at the right side of Doucet's head at point-blank range. Doucet fell to the floor, bleeding from a wound close to his right ear. Plauché placed the telephone receiver down before a police officer restrained him and removed the gun from his hand as the other attended to Doucet.[6] The officers who grabbed hold of Plauché recognized him. They kept him pinned against the bank of telephones, asking him, "Gary, why? Why, Gary?"[4] The incident was captured on ENG videotape. Doucet fell into a coma, and died from the gunshot wound the next day.[7][8]

Aftermath Edit

Plauché was initially charged with second-degree murder, but agreed to a plea bargain in which he pleaded no contest to manslaughter. He was sentenced to seven years' suspended sentence, with five years' probation and 300 hours of community service, which he completed in 1989.[9]

Psychological reports helped Plauché's case after it was learned that Doucet had abused Jody months prior to the kidnapping. The psychiatrist Edward P. Uzee examined Plauché and determined that he could not tell the difference between right and wrong when he killed Doucet. Plauché's defense team argued that he was driven to a temporarily psychotic state after learning of the abuse of his son. Uzee also determined that Doucet had the ability to manipulate others and took advantage of the fact that Plauché was separated from his wife at the time, and had managed to wedge his way into the Plauché family. Judge Frank Saia ruled that sending Plauché to prison would not help anyone, and that there was virtually no risk of him committing another crime.[8]

The video of Plauché killing Doucet has been featured on many television programs and documentaries, including the 1994 shockumentary Traces of Death II and the 2002 Michael Moore-directed documentary Bowling for Columbine. The footage has also been uploaded to YouTube, where the video has received more than 20 million views.[4] In March 2020, some of the uncensored copies of the video were taken down and re-uploaded in the censored version, but plenty of copies of the original still exist on YouTube and elsewhere. One video featured on YouTube was taken from the television series Anatomy of Crime, which aired in 2000 on Court TV and was produced by John Langley, the creator of Cops.[4]

At age 67, Plauché gave an interview where he stated that he did not regret killing Doucet and would do so again.[10] In August 2019, the book "Why, Gary, Why?": The Jody Plauché Story" was released by Jody.[5]

Death Edit

Plauché suffered a stroke in 2011.[3] He died in 2014 at a nursing home after another stroke, three weeks before his 69th birthday.[11]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ "Father of Kidnapped Son gets Revenge-1984 Remember those moments on TV?-Jeffrey Doucet bites the bullet". Toluna. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  2. ^ Harris, Art (March 29, 1984). "What Price Vengeance? A Louisiana Town Weighs the Issue In Slaying of Accused Kidnaper". Washington Post. Retrieved June 4, 2022.
  3. ^ a b "A father's justice". ESPN. October 10, 2012. Archived from the original on August 14, 2014. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Father of Kidnapped Son gets Revenge. YouTube. July 2, 2006. Archived from the original on December 24, 2018. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Jody Plauché (August 22, 2019). "Why, Gary, Why?": The Jody Plauché Story. Inspired Forever Book Publishing. ISBN 978-1-948903-21-9.
  6. ^ "VICTIM'S FATHER SHOOTS ATTACKER - HD". efootage.com. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  7. ^ "Kidnapping Suspect Dead". The New York Times. AP. March 17, 1984. Archived from the original on July 16, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Judge suspends killer's sentence". The Bulletin. No. 227. Bend, Oregon. UPI. August 27, 1985. p. A-2. Archived from the original on April 28, 2016. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  9. ^ "Man Sentenced in Killing Of Suspected Kidnapper". The New York Times. AP. August 27, 1985. Archived from the original on January 28, 2019. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  10. ^ E:60 "A Time To Kill". 2013. Event occurs at 12 mins 45 secs.
  11. ^ Schmaltz, Trey (October 22, 2014). "Family: Gary Plauche has died". WBRZ.com. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Archived from the original on November 5, 2018.

External links Edit