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. andre spriggs

    140mph man he shoulda been on the race track anyway r.i.p dunn

    June 22, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Die westboro


    June 22, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. John

    People need to start protesting at their church. If their lives were as disrupted as they do everybody else, they could protest others when they are constantly defending their own turf. The townspeople might also do some isolating of their own as well. We are only talking about a few non-religious people pretending to be christians. Wouldn't it be a shame if their electricity and water were turned off.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe citizen abroad

      Great idea. Except, there is no church, really. It's just a greedy, old man and his brainwashed family. And they're gone all the time staging their own protests in order to create fodder for his money-making lawsuits. Yes. He's a lawyer. How convenient. There must be a special place in hell reserved for this guy.

      June 22, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joe citizen abroad

    Please stop referring to this maniac and his family as though they are a church in any sense except for tax purposes.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mike

    Dunn wasn't a bad person because he made a mistake. I apparently am a horrible person based on your high standards of being a perfect human. And this whole murder thing is just foolish, the guy in the car isn't a two year old, he's a grown man that knew the dangerous situation he was getting into when he let his drunk friend drive him. Some of you people are crazier than these Westboro freaks.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rick Calvert

    From what I heard about the details of the fiery crash, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Ryan's middle name was Well.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      you have problems. I know a great church you should attend sometime. They are located in Kansas.

      June 22, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arizonamom

      So, I see your parents raised an insensitive moron. Congrats to them!

      June 22, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Neil

    I can't wait until these crazies die off. Hopefully, they'll just give it up when old man Fred kicks the bucket. I mean come on, that guy has to be about 100 years old.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jdog

    I used to own a Porsche while in my 20's. What happened seems obvious to me, I guess since I've been there done it. If you look at the photos you will see Mr. Dunn crashed during a race.

    Notice the other set of marks left from the other party attempting to stop at the same time?

    So who was he racing and what happened.

    I'm also from a small town in Pa and can tell you it wouldn't be difficult to find out who else is involved.

    BTW- Don't drink and drive a Porsche

    June 22, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. andre spriggs

    Go to http://www.myspace.com/spriggoandredagiant2130 and hear my song for dunn

    June 22, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Liz the First

    These cretins are not Christians. what they know about God you could write on the head of a pin and still have room for the Lord's Paryer. they are sick hate-filled ignorant bigots. Mr. Dunn brought his demise on himself and the people who loved him are suffering greatly because of it. that is the lesson. the westboro idiots don't need to rub anyone's nose in it. they just need to crawl back under their rock and ask themselves how their image of God got so horribly twisted.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. atbigfoot91

    To my relatives and friends: If they show up at MY funeral, please beat the f-ing pulp out of them and send them back to Kansas.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. HeIsGod

    I don't agree with what the WBC does, but to say to R.I.P., Dunn will never have peace.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jay

    God hates the Westboro Baptist Church... and so do I.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. R Burns

    Protest having a funeral, or protesting AT the funeral? Big difference-but then as journalists I suppose they know that. Accurate to say they are picketing the funeral, but the headline is misleading. As a media outlet, this just gives credibility to hatemongers, although in this case I can more see their point than when they have picketed the funerals of our soldiers. In any event, folks should be allowed legally to grieve in peace. Let's leave the discussion of issues to take place where the discussion itself doesn't raise a controversy or inflict further injury. Picketing any funeral should be a crime.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. FockoffHels

    Okay so the answer to the question I just asked you is a big ol' "YES"!


    June 22, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • HeIsGod

      I don't listen to atheists....what was that question again?

      June 22, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
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