Westboro Baptist Church plans to protest Dunn's funeral
"Jackass" star Ryan Dunn, 34, famous for his pranks and dangerous stunts, died in a car wreck in Pennsylvania on Monday.
June 22nd, 2011
05:40 PM ET

Westboro Baptist Church plans to protest Dunn's funeral

A controversial church in Topeka, Kansas, plans to send parishioners to Pennsylvania to protest the funeral of “Jackass” star Ryan Dunn, the congregation announced in a press release.

Westboro Baptist Church "will picket any public memorial/funeral held for Dunn, warning all not to make a mock of sin, & to fear and obey God!” the release said.

Westboro was started by the Rev. Fred Phelps in 1955. The church's parishioners, made up mostly of Phelps relatives, stage protests with signs that say such things as "God Hates Fags" and "Thank God for dead soldiers."

The funeral director for DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home in West Chester said Wednesday afternoon that a family-only private memorial for Dunn was in progress - and there was no problem.

Because it was a private memorial, Joseph DellaVecchia said, he didn't expect any disturbances, although he'd heard of Westboro's plans.

“We can’t stop someone from coming to a public funeral, but this is private, and the police have everything under control,” DellaVecchia said.

A public funeral is planned for later in the week.

“Our department recognizes that we have an ethical and legal imperative to uphold civil rights of those who choose to lawfully assemble to protest but also of family members mourning at a funeral," West Chester Police Chief Scott Bohn said Wednesday.

Dunn was drunk and driving up to 140 mph when his 2007 Porsche 911 GT3 crashed and caught fire on a Pennsylvania highway Monday, police said Wednesday.

The red-bearded Dunn, 34, was famous for his pranks and dangerous stunts on the MTV show, which evolved into a successful film franchise.

Westboro protesters, known for picketing the funerals of U.S. soldiers, have recently been met with counter-protesters at funerals across the nation.

At Arlington National Cemetery in Washington last month, counter-protesters, some claiming to be from the Ku Klux Klan, squared off against Westboro Baptist members.

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Filed under: Pennsylvania • Protest • U.S.
soundoff (798 Responses)
  1. John

    well if you're gonna drink and drive 140mph, then i really have no sympathy for him but protesting a funeral serves little point though I get where they're coming from on it.

    June 24, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Dave

    I would consider it an honor if they protested my funeral. It's like a mark of status.

    June 25, 2011 at 2:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Big Ben

      Well said Dave!

      June 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. superccat

    Ryan Dunn DESERVE it. He killed other people. He will have to face the judgement of God in hell for ETERNITY. Take it as your own example, and do not upset God. Do you hear me.

    June 25, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mandi123

      No, but I can sure read your awful grammar.

      June 26, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • linsbohogan

      That is a nasty thing to say about someone that just lost their life, yes he made a bad judgement but it cost him his life as well and the other guy in the car also was drinking and also made the bad judgement of getting in the car and neither one of them deserved to lose their lives and NOONE deserves to lose their lives that way, he is a human being and we all make mistakes. God loves us all regardless only god can judge us and your not god so keep ur hateful opinions to ur self. His family and friends have lost someone very special to them. Think about that.....

      June 27, 2011 at 5:06 am | Report abuse |
  4. hildajenkins

    Dunn has spent majority of his life making people laugh through performing pranks and stupid stunts for no greater purpose other than pure pleasure. http://bit.ly/k2Dx7c

    June 26, 2011 at 2:41 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • jeffrico

      i would love to hit one of these idiot protesters. not so much for this, but for the people who have died for the USA and its freedom!

      June 28, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • jessie

      wow. . . And you people go to church and talk about your religion and commandments . . . nothing but a bunch of liars is what you all are. . . I mean protesting at a funeral. . . grow up

      June 28, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rex Craigo

    Stupid is as stupid does.

    A very wise man said that.

    June 26, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Mike in Tennessee

    I hope the Westboro Baptists show up for the funeral. I also hope that Dunn's co-stars retaliate by pranking and humiliating Westboro Baptst's members relentlessly–and then feature these antics in their next film.

    June 27, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Shadow

    Lol just put up a sign when they start protesting God hates hypocrites. That might shut them up for awhile.

    June 30, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. nOrheim dunjakke

    Mastering the main difference in between properties and investments was a paradigm move for all of us. If you request a los angeles accountant or possibly a banker to show your balance sheet, car headlights ...dunjakke

    February 8, 2012 at 6:36 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Selehattin

    Suspect? LOL, this is going to build a Westboro Cathedral! The reason it hasn't hit the miseatrnam media, kind of a Catch 22, is that if any of the involved parties come out and admit to doing this.. validate the claims it happened, they will be dragged into court as material witness's for the Westboro's. Until then its heresay, and the news can't cover it.

    March 12, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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