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. F$#% WBC

    I hope their "group of parishioners" (aka hillbilly inbred f@$%tards) gets hit by a meteor on the car ride from Topeka.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Go Bam

    Can't wait for a special episode of Viva La Bam where they trash the cars and hotel rooms of the Westboro morons after they protest their friends funeral.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • GIPROUDTOSERVE

      Go Bam..... I can see it coming, if they do protest I hope they tear S@#t up. They have enough money/crazy a$$es to do so. Watch out westboro, you get what you ask for!

      June 22, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mike

    how have these people not been killed off? seriously? they protest military funerals and not one hacked off soldier has tried his sniping skills. I know that is a horrible thought, but I'm dumbfounded over all these years nothing has happened.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phred

      Perhaps because civilized people understand the murder doesn't solve anything.

      June 22, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. atbigfoot91

    Amen.

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

    its a damn shame Westboro Church didnt die in a fiery car crash.... there's always tomorrow.

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

    And these freaks call themselves 'God loving people'. Hardly. They're a cult. Wackos.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wolf

      No, they are god FEARing people.. they want you to be afraid of an 'all loving' god... fear will keep you in line. Not sanity, morality or a sense of good/kindness.. FEAR!

      June 22, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Seth Hill

    Does anybody know how these Westboro people support themselves? They seem to spend all their time traveling to funerals, which costs money. Just curious...

    June 22, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      Church leader use to be a civil rights lawyer and started a law firm as well as a church. Now they try to get PLO mad enough they do something they can sue for. Like say a city impedes their freedom speech or something. Not a real church just some ppl abusing loop holes in our laws.

      June 22, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Fred L. Fraud

    Hey Westboro – You idiots have s3x with dead animals. Protest yourselves

    June 22, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Border Agent

    I am up for shooting the protesters on site. We will deal with the police but a funeral should be with family and friends and a peaceful place. If i was there, i'd fight the protesters and will have money to get out of jail. Plain and simple, kick them out.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. frank

    Wish I could be there! Would love to see Phelps covered in poop!!!!!

    June 22, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ed rustad

    he among you that is without sin let him cast the first stone jesus christ

    June 22, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Isolda

    Can we all just agree to ignore these vile people? Seriously, that's the best way to get rid of them, just make them irrelevant. I will practice what I preach by making this my last post on the subject.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. devon

    they need to stop rewarding these wackadoos with attention when they pull these types of asinine stunts for publicity. i know it's difficult because they keep hitting people as hard as they can in the most emotional places possible but the country would be so much better for it.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Brenda

    Omg. How can a church be like this? They are not supose to pass judgement on anyone. The man died, just drop it. How dare they do that too military members and there family. I don't go to church and don't feel the need to be brainwashed like these church members. I am really beginning to think they are cults. They getting to be too big like the government. They all should be ashamed of themselves.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. KellyinCA

    I'm getting rather tired of trying to post comments on this website only for them never to show up. I read the most hateful vitriol on some of these boards and yet, when I try to post something that might be at least on-topic and civil, it gets lost in the ether. What's going on, moderators? Can't handle voluntary writing at no cost more insightful and informative than the articles your employer pays for?

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