Warning: This article talks about things like rape and child abuse, which some people may find upsetting.
In 1984, a man killed the person who had been abusing his son on live TV, and the person who did this was not punished for his actions.
In February of that year, Jody Plauché, who was only 11 years old at the time, was taken from his home in Louisiana by his karate teacher, Jeffrey Doucet, and driven to a motel in California.
Jody was sexually assaulted and abused many times at the place in question, and the pedophile wasn’t caught until after he gave the child permission to make a collection call to his mother.
Jody was returned to his family, and on March 16, 1984, Doucet, who was 25 years old at the time, was flown to Baton Rouge Airport in Louisiana. There, he was met by police officers and taken into custody.
Gary, Jody’s dad, was hiding near a phone while he waited for Doucet to arrive. He wore a baseball cap and sunglasses. There were also news crews there waiting for Doucet.
Gary went outside while people were watching from their homes and fired a shot that hit Doucet in the head from three feet away.
While he was being held down by other officers, one of them pleaded with him:
Why, Gary, why?
Jody kept thinking about these words as he watched footage of the murder “over and over,” and they became the title of his book.
Gary spent a weekend in jail for killing Doucet, but in the end, he was given a suspended sentence for manslaughter and community service, as well as probation. Doucet went into a coma and died the next day. Gary was given all of these punishments at the same time.
Even though the majority of Americans supported Gary when it came to the revenge killing, Jody had a different opinion about how he acted.
In an interview, 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 few have done it. Plus, he didn’t go to jail.
That said, I can not and will condone his behaviour. 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.
In fact, what he did drove a wedge between them, but Gary insisted that he didn’t feel bad about killing Doucet, even though it did make them less close.
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.
It took a few months before things got back to normal. As far as regret, of course he regrets the whole thing happened but he never regretted his action.
Being Catholic, I believe having 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 died in 2014 after having a stroke, and Jody hopes that his book will help other people who have been abused.
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.
If you or someone you know has been affected by any of these problems and you want to talk to someone in confidence about the welfare of a child, you can call the NSPCC at 0808 800 5000 between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on the weekends. If you are a child who needs help, call the toll-free number, 0800 1111, and ask to talk to a counselor or support worker.