'My life is great 40 years after my dad killed my rapist on live TV' (2024)

Four decades after he escaped heinous abuse, a kidnapping and saw his father murder his rapist karate instructor on live TV, Jody Plauché isn't the moping, damaged, shell of a man some might expect him to be after all he endured.

In fact, Jody is thriving, sharing his experience with others via a new book, speeches and other engagements in the hopes he can empower other young men to share their stories, too.

Gary Plauché, Jody's father, shot and killed his karate instructor, Jeff Doucet, on live TV after he was extradited to Louisiana from California following a harrowing two years of rape and abuse that culminated in Jody's kidnapping in February 1984.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: 'Cunning way my dad knew exact moment to shoot my rapist karate instructor - his timing was perfect'

Jody and his siblings were enrolled in Doucet's karate class when Jody was just a fifth-grader in 1983, at which point Doucet began grooming him and his family as he also began sexually assaulting young Jody, pushing his boundaries until it became full-blown rape.

"I guess I passed his test, so he started [raping] me," Jody told TheMirror.com. The horrific abuse went on from March 1983 through February 1984, when Doucet kidnapped young Jody, who was just 11 years old.

Doucet allegedly owed money and was scheduled for a court date, Jody recalled, so he decided to skip town — and, since Jody had been his "love interest for the past year," Doucet decided to take him along.

On Feb. 19, 1984, Doucet's brother dropped him off at Jody's home and asked Jody's mother if he could borrow the family car — he didn't own one at the time, or so he said, and his brother had to rush off to the home of one of Doucet's other karate students, as his parents were in the process of building a new home and needed carpet installed, which is what his brother's business was.

Jody's mother told Doucet he could take the car, as long as Jody was brought back to her by the end of the day. She warned them both not to stay out too long.

But Doucet had other plans — he drove Jody to his brother's home in Gonzalez, Louisiana, which is about 24 miles southeast of the state's capital, Baton Rouge, where he grabbed some things before driving them to his mother's home in Port Arthur, Texas, a city along the Louisiana border.

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The next day, they drove to Doucet's uncle's home in Vinton, Louisiana, just across the river, where they borrowed some money for bus tickets, telling Doucet's mother, who was concerned about Jody, that they would be dropping him off in Baton Rouge as Doucet made his way to New York City — Baton Rouge would, after all, be along the way.

Instead, the pair caught a bus from another Texas-Louisiana border town, Orange, all the way to Los Angeles, California — a long, harrowing 2,000-mile journey. Once they arrived, they did some sightseeing, Jody recalls, before they eventually booked a hotel room just outside of Disneyland in Anaheim a few days later.

That's where, on Feb. 29, 1984, Doucet was caught after Jody was allowed to call his mother collect. A member of the Baton Rouge Sheriff's Department had been listening in, and he demanded that the operator tell him where the call came from, telling her that it was a kidnapping. She told him, and the police busted through the door of the hotel room minutes later, taking Doucet into custody.

Eventually, he was extradited to Louisiana after it was determined that he had been raping and abusing Jody. Gary caught wind of the extradition from a local TV reporter, and he showed up at the airport, a gun in his boot, ready to do what he felt had to be done.

When the camera lights came on and Doucet walked past, Gary — who was on the phone with his best friend on an open line on the payphone behind him — took aim and shot Doucet in the head point-blank on live TV.

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Blood splattered from the wound, and Doucet went down just as the authorities who had been escorting him took Gary into custody, charged him with attempted second-degree murder and took him to jail.

Doucet died the next day after a brief coma, and the charges against Gary were upgraded to full-blown second-degree murder. But Gary only ever served three nights in jail — Friday, March 16, when he was arrested, until the following Monday, when he paid his bail. He was then sentenced to seven years of hard time suspended, 300 hours of community service and five years of probation.

Years later, Jody appeared on his first talk show in 1991, during which he detailed what had happened to him. Shortly after it aired, he got a call from the Baton Rouge sheriff, who told him that his interview had inspired another young boy to come forward and detail the abuse he had been suffering at the hands of a local pastor, who was then arrested and charged with molestation.

"That's the moment where I decided that I'm going to keep raising awareness. I'm going to keep speaking out, and hopefully, I can make a difference," Jody said, and thus launched his career of public speaking and activism. He has since met several celebrities, too, like Little Richard, Peggy Sue, Shaquille O'Neal and his favourite comedian and friend, Jim Norton. He also got to see Michael Jackson in concert twice.

Despite what happened to him, he said his life turned out wonderfully and that he wouldn't trade it for anything. He faced his trauma, and he began helping others to do so, too.

"I hope to let victims know that if you've been through something like that, with the proper support, you can be OK," he said. "You can turn your life around. You're not scarred for life. You're not damaged goods. Your innocence — that may have been taken, but for the most part, you're going to be OK."

He eventually wrote his book, "Why Gary Why?: The Jody Plauché Story," which details his experience. He said he's received positive feedback from readers.

Jody admits that he was a little emotional and depressed over the summer of 1984, but he stopped sulking and turned his life around. He began dating in high school, and now, four decades later, he celebrates what happened and the growth he's made in his life, all the while remembering Gary, who he called "the greatest dad of all time," who died in October 2014.

"I wouldn't trade my life," he said. "Knowing how it turned out, I wouldn't trade it in for anything." On the anniversary of the historic shooting, on March 16, he'll be in Austin, Texas, he said, celebrating with his godson and his godson's brother, who are both reportedly going to a wedding party, part of a bachelor trip.

Jody himself will be at Joe Rogan's Comedy Mothership, a comedy venue in the heart of the city, where he'll be seeing his friend Jim Norton live.

"This isn't something I'm going to be spending sitting around moping [about] — no, I'm spending it at the [Comedy Mothership] with my favourite comedian," Jody said.

'My life is great 40 years after my dad killed my rapist on live TV' (2024)
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