Apr 25, 2023 | True Crime

Heartbroken father kills man who abused his 11-year-old son

Morgan Collier

Morgan Collier

Leon Gary Plauché was born in Baton Rouge on November 10, 1945, and briefly served in the U.S. Air Force. 

Following his departure from the army, Plauché became an equipment salesman and started to live a very ordinary life. 

But in February 1984, his life would take a very unexpected turn. 

His 11-year-old son Jody was a karate enthusiast and trained with Jeff Doucet, a local karate instructor. Doucet taught Karate to 3 of Gary’s children and was considered a very trusted member of the local community. 

In fact, Jody Plauché once declared in the school newspaper that Doucet was “all of our best friend.”

So on February 19 1984, when Doucet picked up Jody for a ride, his mother, June, had no reason to doubt him. 

But unfortunately, Jeff Doucet wasn’t taking Jody on a ride around the neighbourhood, he had something much more sinister planned. 

By the evening, the two were on a bus heading to the West Coast. En route, Doucet shaved his beard and changed Jody’s blonde hair to black to pass him off as his son and evade the law enforcement that would soon be on their trail.

After arriving in Anaheim, California, Doucet and Jody Plauché stayed at a budget-friendly motel within walking distance from Disneyland. 

While inside the motel room, Doucet sexually assaulted 11-year-old Jody until he requested to contact his parents. Doucet granted Jody’s request, and when his parents were alerted, they notified the police. The authorities traced the call and arrested Doucet, while Jody was sent back to Louisiana via airplane.

When Gary Plauché was informed of the heinous acts that Doucet had carried out on his son, he lost it and promised to end the paedophile’s life.

Gary Plauche

Filled with anger, Gary resorted to drinking at his neighbourhood bar in the following days. At this bar, a journalist informed him that Doucet was scheduled to arrive at Baton Rouge airport at 9:08.

Gary Plauché drove to Baton Rouge airport and waited at the payphones, dressed in a baseball hat and sunglasses to avoid suspicion.

Plauché witnessed the police escorting Doucet out of the airport, and as they walked past, Gary Plauché drew his firearm from his pocket and shot the paedophile in the head.

Gary Plauche

A WBRZ news reporter captured the incident on camera, which has been viewed online tens of millions of times since then.

When asked why he did it, Gary can be heard saying  “If somebody did it to your kid, you’d do it, too!” 

Even though Plauché had taken the life of a child molester, the law still regarded it as murder. As a result, he had to stand trial.

The majority of local residents were furious that Plauché was being regarded as a criminal.

During Gary Plauché’s sentencing, the judge opted not to incarcerate him, believing that doing so would have been unhelpful. He was convinced that Plauché had no intention of harming anyone except the deceased Jeff Doucet.

Gary Plauche

Plauché received five years of probation and 300 hours of community service as his punishment for the murder.

In his late 60s, Gary passed away after suffering a stroke in 2014. He was described as an incredibly loving father.

His son Jody Plauché, transformed his experience into a book called “Why, Gary, Why?” in which he shares his side of the story.

Gary Plauche