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. The Man

    The passenger was Lindsay Lohan and there were signs of BJ on his lap. RIperfectP.

    June 23, 2011 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. Chubby

    They show up at that funeral somebody is getting hurt.

    June 23, 2011 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
    • marc

      Agreed. They have no idea about our town or the people in it.

      June 23, 2011 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Callmeishmael

      Some fundamentalist nuts gonna get thumped?? Now that I WOULD pay to see!

      June 23, 2011 at 4:20 am | Report abuse |
  3. sk8r's dad

    Great! Westboro has needed to run up against someone like Bam Margera for a long, long time.

    June 23, 2011 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Tutsrevenge


      June 23, 2011 at 4:50 am | Report abuse |
  4. Greggq

    i wish CNN would stop reporting on this. never heard of this loser, i feel bad for the passenger's family and it's a sad waste of a sweet porsche. MTV glorifies stupidity by making these guys "famous" – sort of .130MPH drunk off your as s is not exactly being a pillar of the community. he's lucky he didn't kill more people. i hope the bartender that kept serving him gets jail time.

    June 23, 2011 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      I just wish CNN and ALL other media would stop reporting anything about Westboro Baptist "Church." Afterall, any media coverage they get, is exactly what they're looking for...

      June 23, 2011 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Chase

      You hope the Bartender will get jail time? That is a bold statement considering you have no clue how drunk he was if he was the only one ordering drinks or how many bars he had been to. He is the one that got behind the wheel of the car and that was a poor decision on his part. The bartender didn't walk him out and say have a safe night driving home. Give people some more credit before you make asinine comments like that putting the blame on somebody else.

      June 23, 2011 at 4:08 am | Report abuse |
    • gandalf

      i agree, clean the gene pool

      June 23, 2011 at 4:15 am | Report abuse |

    i really dislike the westboro baptist church. Dun has paid the ultimate price for his mistake. leave him be.....

    June 23, 2011 at 2:56 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dieyoung

    The Westboro Church will probably put a hit on me for this, but I hope they get murdered by a group of drag queens lead by Richard Simons and Nathan Lane.

    June 23, 2011 at 3:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon Madison

      Your post makes me happy and hopeful this will come true.

      June 23, 2011 at 4:26 am | Report abuse |
    • DC

      Wooot, second that!

      June 23, 2011 at 4:28 am | Report abuse |
    • killermike2178

      Better yet, plan a gay pride parade near WBC during Fred Phelps' funeral.

      June 23, 2011 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Dieyoung

      I am tired of the Westboro Church and their hatred towards the dead. Let the dead rest in peace, who cares if they were gay or not. They also need to pay some respect to the soldiers who died because they would not run their mouths if a group of renegade marines raided their compound and burnt it to the ground. I call their church a compound because it does not deserve to be called a "church." A church is a house of love, respect, and tolerance. These haters don't respect anything other then themselves.

      June 23, 2011 at 4:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Dieyoung

      Killermike, you have the best idea yet. haha, I would love to see that.

      June 23, 2011 at 4:49 am | Report abuse |
  7. Daniel

    Isn't this how Dunn would have wanted to go out of this world? With all his people beating the crap out of the Westboro Church? Let's make it happen.

    June 23, 2011 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  8. gremlin

    I really hope they show up. I've been waiting to see them get their clocks cleaned for years. They won't even make it to the cemetery.

    June 23, 2011 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |
  9. Casey

    It doesn't matter who you are or what you were doing at the time of your death. EVERYONE deserves a proper burial. Project your pathetic beliefs on his afterlife as you have always done and let his family and friends mourn him as any individual deserves.

    June 23, 2011 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dan Kessler

    iIt is sad that someone that calls themselves a christian group like Westboro to act in an anti-christ like manner by disrespecting someone for any reason at all, especially when they tragically died.
    It doesn't matter how bad someone is or what they have done. A christian does not wish bad karma on anyone especially Christian. If so, that christian is just as bad or worse than that sinner.

    June 23, 2011 at 3:35 am | Report abuse |
  11. Riverwatcher

    Protesting someone's death (They think it'll change things somehow??) as a way of promoting their own beliefs is the height of hypocracy; do these folks at Westboro think they're all so above everyone else? What a bunch of intolerant a**holes.

    June 23, 2011 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
  12. trl

    ....there are people in this town that are willing to go to jail for assault if any of these religious zealots show up and disgrace the funeral......and they will have full unlimited financial support from many to fight the charge(s)if any charges come.

    June 23, 2011 at 4:00 am | Report abuse |
  13. damn yank

    the westboro church is not a 'church'
    they are a group of lawyers that make a living out of picketing funerals. they do nothing illegally....all they do is provoke good hearted people.....so in the hopes that the people will react. if/when people react, these lawyers sue.

    this is how they get their money.

    the best thing to do here is to ignore them, the way you would any other evil troll.

    June 23, 2011 at 4:06 am | Report abuse |
  14. OldMo

    CNN gives these Westboro clowns a lot of coverage, probably because they hope it puts Christian conservatives in a bad light. The problem is none of these people are Christians, in fact, quite the opposite is true and if you read the Bible you'd know that. Also, their fearless leader Fred Phelps has run for office multiple times as a Democrat. You can see pics of him and the Gores together when he held a fund raiser for Big Al. But as we know CNN is into legit journalism like the Westboro gang is into real Christianity. It's all propaganda. Oh how I'd love to see a bunch of Jack*ss fans pull the biggest stunt ever on these frauds.

    June 23, 2011 at 4:09 am | Report abuse |
  15. jay in florida

    I would love for the Westboro Church to come protest a soldier's funeral in my town. We have legal precedents established by our courts that if someone offends you on the grave of your loved one... well... just about anything you do to them is forgivable.... up to and including making them stop breathing..... Westboro is invited to come protest in Florida.

    June 23, 2011 at 4:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Dieyoung

      I love Florida... They hate nonsense.

      June 23, 2011 at 4:56 am | Report abuse |
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