Gary Plauche, the Louisiana father who gunned down his son’s child molester and karate instructor, Jeffrey Doucet, more than 20 years ago, will be the story of focus for Investigation Discovery’s new show, Unraveled. The new ID crime documentary series takes a look at the lives of killers and their victims and the “psychological forces that drive a person to commit” murder, according to Peacock Productions.
A Parent’s Trust Betrayed
The case of Gary Plauche made headlines in 1984 after he shot and killed the man who had kidnapped and molested his child. Authorities believe that Gary Plauche, a salesman and loving father, just snapped after he thought about the magnitude of what happened to his son, Jody Plauche, who had been systematically sexually assaulted by his karate instructor, Jeffrey Doucet.
Family members had tried to warn Gary Plauche that something seemed off about Jody’s relationship with his teacher. The strange nature of their relationship was revealed when an uncle observed how angry Jeff Doucet seemed when he found out that Jody would be spending the night with him, instead. Not only was his anger disturbing, but he also kissed Jody Plauche smack dab on the mouth, his uncle said in the documentary, A Time To Kill: The Jody Plauche Story.
Jody knew what his teacher was doing to him wasn’t right, but at the same time, Jeffrey Doucet was a lot of fun. In fact, many of his students liked being with him. Authorities say that Doucet made a habit of hanging out with his students, often offering them nights out at the skating rink or some other activity.
And yet, this didn’t seem to raise any alarm bells until February, 1984, when Jody Plauche failed to return home. Jeffrey Doucet had picked Jody up early that morning with the promise that he would drop the boy off at home as he had done many times before. But, this time, he didn’t come back.
When he didn’t return home, Jody Plauche’s mother knew instantly that something had to be wrong. She began contacting everyone who might know of Jody’s whereabouts. Then, she alerted the police. Turns out, Jody had been kidnapped by his teacher, Jeff Doucet, a sick pedophile who had grown obsessed with him.
It wasn’t enough that he was sexually molesting Jody every chance he could get. Now, he wanted him all to himself, figuring they could finally make a life together in California, where no one would know their true identity.
For days, the Plauche family lived in fear and disbelief that Jody was gone. More than a week later, police were finally able to pinpoint their location after Doucet called his mother. After police moved in, they captured Jeff Doucet and returned Jody Plauche to his parents safely.
Though this seemed like a happy ending, the story didn’t end there.
The reunion between Jody and his parents was extremely tearful and emotional, and while Gary Plauche was glad to have his son back in his arms, he couldn’t get over knowing that Jeffrey Doucet, the karate instructor he had trusted, was the same person who had sex with his 10-year-old son. Everyone figured that Gary Plauche must have replayed how this gruesome act occurred over and over in his mind.
As for Jeffrey Doucet, he didn’t know it yet, but his situation was about to get much worse because Gary Plauche didn’t just want Jeff to pay for what he did to his son through legal means, he wanted the molester dead. In the end, Gary Plauche carried out his wish.
Father Kills Man Who Sexually Abused Son
- On Friday, March 16, 1984, while authorities were escorting Jeffrey Doucet through the airport in Baton Rouge, a man lifted his gun out of nowhere and shot Doucet at point blank range.
- The man turned out to be Gary Plauche.
- Even more bizarre, the murder had been captured on tape by a news crew who was on the scene that day to film Doucet’s arrival.
Jeffrey Doucet died from his injuries, and police charged Gary Plauche with his death. It left the victim, Jody Plauche, in a terrible situation because he hadn’t wanted anyone to kill his teacher, and he was even more anguished that the killer was his father.
The judicial system exercised leniency with Gary Plauche by giving him a suspended sentence and probation. He didn’t spend one night in prison for what he had done, according to the Los Angeles Times. The majority of the public said they understood how he felt as a father–having his son abused that way. Others say he still had no right to take a human life.
Gary And Jody Plauche Today
In a way, Gary suffered his own personal hell. He didn’t go to prison but he still had to live with what happened to his son. But, if anyone thinks he felt an ounce of remorse about killing Doucet–they’re wrong. Dead wrong. In an interview, Gary stated that he was not sorry for killing Jeffrey Doucet and would do it again if he had the opportunity, according to the Advocate.
Gary Plauche died in 2014, according to the Times Picayune. Today, Jody Plauche is a grown man and says he doesn’t let what happened to him as a child define who he is today. He currently speaks about his case all over the U.S.
Jeff Doucet’s case of obsession with a minor sounds much like the case of Steven Stayner, a 7-year-old boy by Kenneth Parnell, a pedophile who loved little boys.
Some other live murders that were captured on tape (Warning: Graphic!)
- 1993: Maritza Martin Munoz, a grieving mother, was shot and killed by her ex-husband, Emilio Núñez, during a television interview with a reporter.
- That same year, 40-year-old Ellie Nesler gunned down her daughter’s child molester in court.
- 2015: Alison Parker and Adam Ward, a news journalist and a camera operator, were shot dead on camera by a former fellow co-worker.
Watch the episode based on the Gary Plauche, Jeffrey Doucet case on Unraveled this Thursday, August 11, at 9/8 p.m. central on Investigation Discovery (ID). Below, you’ll find the notorious video footage of Gary Plauche killing Jeff Doucet.
[Photo by Gerald Herbert/AP File]