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.

Post by:
Filed under: Pennsylvania • Protest • U.S.
soundoff (798 Responses)
  1. Timothy Wright

    What the Westboro members needs to encounter at one of their "protests" are 12ga shotguns loaded with rock salt and bacon fat. NON lethal but boy does it smart.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beatriss Scatolakis

      I live in Salt Lake City so I'm happy to provide the rock salt. Someone else get the bacon, I'll order pizza and we'll get this done!!

      June 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reenie

      I'd love to join you in that!!!

      June 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Reenie

    The WBC is nothing but a group of terrorists. And I totally agree with everyone that states to stop giving them media attention. They should also lose their tax exempt status. I don't support any violence, but how is it their "church" is still standing?? Just sayin...

    June 22, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tyler

      Well for one, nearly every member of the Church is related and the majority of them have some sort of degree in law. The whole reason they do these protests is to push as close to the limits of what they can legally in the hopes that someone will do something rash to them. (ie, touch them illegally) Once this occurs, they sue the person who committed the tort against them and that is where they cover all of their fees for flights as well as extra cash on the side. Seriously, look it up.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Beatriss Scatolakis

    Westboro BAPTIST??? Which Baptist Convention? Distusting that Baptists haven't thrown them out. The Westboro bunch are primarily an inbred family of cretins with serious genetic deficiencies. Their hearts hold about as much Christian love in them as did that of Adolf Hitler or Osama Bin Laden. Can't they drink some Kool-Aid and wait for a space ship someplace? They are no longer news.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Iamrightyouarewrong

      Oh god forbid he would have killed a van of children and MADD protested this famous jerks funeral right. We would be up in arms against them.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • MOCaseA

      Actually the Bastist Conventions have all stated that Westboro is not one of theirs. There are no laws that prevent Westboro from using the name "Baptist."

      June 22, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ceri

      While I appreciate your sentiments, Beatriss, I thought it was fairly common knowledge that they are not affiliated to any of the conventions you are thinking of. They are completely independent (as in totally isolated) group. No-one else would have anything to do with them. Why the media give them any attention beats me. What happens in the end is that people really do start believing that they are somehow linked to mainstream churches, just as Beatriss seems to have done, when in fact they are just a bunch of extremist haters.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. kuewa

    The protest should be filmed for inclusion in the next Jack*ss movie. A whole group of natural jack*sses holding signs !

    June 22, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. RayJacksonMS

    All that white trash from both sides in one place is bound to create a black hole that will destroy the universe.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Iamrightyouarewrong

    Oompa Loompa, do-ba-dee-doo,
    I’ve got another puzzle for you.
    Oompa Loompa, do-ba-da-dee,
    If you are famous you’ll listen to me.
    What do you get from guzzling down booze. Out with your friends you would hate to lose. Tweeting some pictures  that's what stars do. Living the high life like it will never end. Pick up the phone why not call a cab. Oh wait, I forgot, way to good for you You'll just take your Porsche to see what she can do. Now at your funeral many people sad others may protest, they have the right to. Like the, like the, westboro church members do. 

    June 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reenie

      I could only hope that one of your loved ones does something stupid like drink, drive, and die! Maybe you should go kill yourself! And tweet it so we all can see it!

      June 22, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • JohnnyDH

      Wow, Reenie, that is really mean-spirited and cruel.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. WhoKnewIt

    If the media would stop giving so much publicity to these insects they would just crawl back under their rock. Like a child having a temper tantrum, ignore it and it will stop...

    June 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DrMabuse

    Hey, Westboro boneheads, why don't you try taking on muslims? Probably scared as everybody else is.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • 112321

      Everybody else like who? You? Youre a nobody. Coward

      June 22, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Beatriss Scatolakis

    With all of the horrible tornados that cross Kansas every year, why hasn't one polished these fools off?

    June 22, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. GwatS

    Live fast, die on your own terms.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mark tilly

    GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!! GOD ISNT REAL!!!!!

    June 22, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jane Doe

    Wow, these idiots need to have groups of people out in front of their church for the next month protesting that they are a bunch of idiots.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • JohnnyDH

      To do that, you would have to go to Kansas. That is why nobody is going to do this.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. MOCaseA

    The next time Westboro shows up at a funeral in my area, we'll have a special area cordoned off for them. It will include a raised plywood platform. It'll even have a nice sign that says "Westboro Church Only." We will also post signs everywhere else that state "No protesting/demonstrating in this area." Then when the funeral cortege becomes visible, we will remove the stairs, and raise the 24ft wood walls, and start playing the national anthem over the loudspeakers at top volume. We won't "imprison" them, but we won't let their freedom of speech interfere with ours.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Greg in DFW

    CNN please be more clear with your headlines. Had I known this was about the Westboro "Church" I wouldn't have clicked the link.

    News organizations are the only reason groups like this exist. If you stop putting their name in the headlines, they WILL go away. But you folks at CNN aren't capable of that, are you?

    June 22, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. William

    Man, this is going to be a good one.....

    June 22, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33