Child abuse and rape are powerful topics that send shivers down one’s spine. The anger that one feels toward the perpetrator can seem surreal. It doesn’t take much for a community to stand up and protest the kind of treatment these offenders receive when detained, but one has to realize that the police are only doing their job. This means lengthy investigations to ensure the maximum sentence when found guilty.
It was in 1984 that a man turned the tables and killed his son’s abuser live on TV
The abuser, Jeffrey Doucet had abducted 11-year-old Jody Plauché in Louisiana, in February of that year. He drove him to a motel in California. This is where the horrific crimes took place. He raped and abused Jody continually and was only caught when he allowed Jody to make a collect call to his mother.
Jody returned to his family on the 16th of March. 25-year-old Doucet was escorted on his flight by police into Baton Rouge Airport in Louisiana. There were masses of news crews and journalists waiting for Doucet to land. One of them was Jody’s father, Gary disguised in a baseball cap with sunglasses on.
Viewers watched as Gary stepped out of the crowd and simply shot Doucet in the head from a mere 3 feet away
He was pinned down by police, and the officer pleaded with him for answers. “Why, Gary, why?” These words lingered over Jody. Who since went on to write a memoir with the very same title. He had watched the footage over and over after the incident and the words just stuck, chiming over and over again in his head.
Doucet fell into a coma and passed away the following day from his injury. Jody’s father spent a week in prison after the shooting but ended up being released on a suspended sentence for manslaughter. He was then given probation and community service. The community stood behind Gary and defended his actions. They called him a hero for serving what they consider justice for the rapist.
Jody on the other hand felt differently about his actions
Speaking to The Sun in October, he said. “At first I was upset with what my father did because at age 11 – I just wanted Jeff to stop and not necessarily dead. I think for a lot of people who have not been satisfied by the American justice system my dad stands as a symbol of justice.”
“My dad did what everybody says what they would do yet only a few have done it. Plus, he didn’t go to jail. That said, I can not and will condone his behavior. I understand why he did what he did. But it is more important for a parent to be there to help support their child than put themselves in a place to be prosecuted.”
This drove a wedge between the father and son
Jody said: “He told me he figured he was gonna die so he felt he had nothing to lose. He told me one of them, if not both of them were gonna die that night.” He continued: “It took a few months before things got back to normal. As far as regret, of course, he regrets the whole thing that happened but he never regretted his action.”
“Being Catholic, I believe has taken a human life, his first thoughts were that he was going to hell… And he was OK with that. But the local priest washed his feet and gave his absolution and forgiveness from God so I think that helped him mentally deal with the event.” Gary has since passed away in 2014 and Jody hopes that his book will help other victims of abuse.
He said: “The most important thing is to seek out the proper support. With the proper support you can work through it. Unfortunately, most people’s support systems are friends and family… and most of them are terrible at providing the emotional support a sexual abuse victim faces.”
- “Man who killed his son’s rapist live on TV and walked free.” Unilad. Jake Massey. January 6, 2023.