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. Spike

    People like this are disrespectful and personally i have no respect for them, let people mourn in peace.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • livingwithrainyday

      Spike, I agree with you. Further, I think this guy worships a very small, tiny, and ineffectual God if his God must rely on mere humans to punish others, rather than take care of it Himself.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Defcom

    "consists of relatives..."

    these guys are a cult, they're a group, degenerates.
    the media should call them anything but a Church.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. drock


    The only reason they thrive is because you pay attention to them and they get recognition. That's what they want. PLEASE stop giving them any attention.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • mabel floyd

      you are so right-the only reason the media keeps pushing this "story" is they think it will stir up another "story". "news" today is really , many times, just a search for controversy.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ssim

    That's disgusting. Let people mourn...
    This church should look at themselves and I would hope that when someone from their own church dies- they better be protesting too for the Sins they have comitted.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mslulu

    The only thing that church is teaching is pure Hate! They are such sad and disgusting people. I don't even see how they get up in the morning and look at themselves in the face. Pathetic! & they call themselves Christians?? This is why I'm agnostic!

    June 22, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Deb

    Why do these people have the need to further destroy families who are already destroyed by the loss of their loved ones. The members of this church and their leader will have someone very special at their funerals – the devil, ready and waiting to cart them off to rot in hell where they belong!

    June 22, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. kane

    "proudmilitary"....let's face it, you work for them. The only way to stop that is to quit the military otherwise get used to the idea that you're one of their employees, son.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. lee banks

    they also tried to protest the death of a soldier in my hometown of east tn,they didn,t show up .may have been the 2 to 3 hundred bikers and friends of family that lined the streets.they are a mockery of religon.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |

    Someone please do us a favor and make these useless human beings disappear.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jcsomebody

    Everyone has a friend that talks crap to strangers, and one day, he picks the wrong person and gets his face punched in. Hopefully this is finally the right crowd to teach this inbred church that lesson. In fact, I'm going to pray for it. =)

    June 22, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jen

    How is this possible??? I finally found something that I can agree with the Westboro church. Live hard, drink cheap whiskey, drive fast, die young, leave a beautiful corpse.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. john leddy

    those mutants from that baptist church frequently are no shows at events they say they will attend. if they do attend , i can't print what i hope folks would do to them because i would probably be arrested.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lloyd

    Thank god the funeral already happend! Look like the Westboro Losers strike out!

    June 22, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. shaqfan

    I don't care what your views are, going to protest at a funeral where the nations most famous trouble makers and prank players are attending just doesn't sound like something you should do.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jim

    Traditional family values at it's best. Go conservatives! Go Hate! Go meaningless morons!

    June 22, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Buzzwoman

      These people don't represent conservatism! They are disgusting and looking for someplace to show up where they can garner alot of attention.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
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