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. Ian

    I think this entire WBC family must be riddled with syphilis there is really no other explanation for this type of insanity....

    June 23, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. jouelle

    Stop giving these Westboro idiots press coverage and maybe they'll give up and go away. They've already extended their 15 minutes into a hour and a half.

    June 23, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
    • shanno

      Not directly to jouelle, but to everyone in general: whats the TRUTH?

      June 23, 2011 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
  3. ThisOughtToBeGood

    $100 says WBC pulls a no-show

    June 23, 2011 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Cindy

      I'll take that money! You forget who you're betting on. They're S-T-U-P-I-D!

      June 23, 2011 at 2:15 am | Report abuse |
    • shanno


      June 23, 2011 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
    • shanno

      What "money"? Who's "who"? Who is ""they"?

      June 23, 2011 at 3:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. coastal

    ......"warning all not to make a mock of sin, & and to fear and obey God!".!!!!
    Boy, I bet their Christmas Pageants are some kinda fun...........

    June 23, 2011 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
    • shanno

      that was so funny I, forgot...

      June 23, 2011 at 3:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. Chuckie

    This is all Bush's fault!

    June 23, 2011 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
  6. Susan Haskins

    The WBC is a bunch of dirtbag fundamentalist Christians. No rhyme or reason if they show or don't show. They get media coverage anyway.

    June 23, 2011 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
    • jaijai

      Westboro church should go live in Skidmore Missouri. Those people know how to take care of Bullys like them!

      June 23, 2011 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. HabsDah

    This is the same group of people against celebrating a soldiers funeral. This wasn't murder. This was an accident. And by the way it was the passengers own right to enter that vehicle. It was both of their accidents. Why didn't the passenger call a cab? All this is doing is making people who simply didn't like what Ryan Dunn did, come out of their little rocks and start a mocking them. If they show up outside of his funeral they should all be put in Jail for life. And how many innocent lives has Christianity taken? Tell me that? Oh but it was in the name of God. So that makes everything right. Even god himself would look upon these people in shame. A bunch of judgmental jerks who need to evaluate their own lives. But they don't so they focus on others.

    June 23, 2011 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
  8. KellyD

    I think it's sad that people would even want to protest at a funeral! I'm not sure I understand the point of it. The person is already gone no matter what they did to cause their death. Their family and friends are mourning, and protesting is a slap in their face. It's rude, and insensitvie. Drinking and driving is never ok, but I am still saddened that people lost their lives, famous or not.

    June 23, 2011 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
  9. Reality Check

    OK, Roger Ebert did not go to far in saying don't let drunks drive, but this has most certainly crossed the line. Can't these people do something productive with all the money they spend protesting.

    June 23, 2011 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. Hey Sup

    I hope Bam, and all those who attend the funeral kick these protestors asses.

    June 23, 2011 at 2:06 am | Report abuse |
  11. tammy

    "He who is without sin cast the first stone" Jesus said this.

    June 23, 2011 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
  12. Cindy

    Ooooh, this ought to result in some simply world class a$$ kickings! I hope there's plenty of iphones and no cops!!!

    June 23, 2011 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
  13. Doug

    Maybe when one of the WBC die we should go out with signs that say "Great, One less crazy makes my day"

    June 23, 2011 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
  14. Clark Nova

    What are their signs going to say? "God hates drunken idiots"?

    June 23, 2011 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
  15. marcos

    I drive drunk all the time its fun

    June 23, 2011 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
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