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. Bam bam

    come and protest you'll get whats coming to you, might not go back to Kansas though, but Pennsylvania has great trauma centers, stupid church!!!!

    June 22, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Making cyber threats? Real cool tough guy

      June 22, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hopeful

      Really hopeful that Westboro do show up and get stomped into the dirt. You think the Jacka$$ kids will let that fly?

      June 22, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anna Brigitte

      I live in Kansas and let me tell you, every person here would be so glad if they didn't come back! We absolutely hate that our state has to be associated with them.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. colonelingus

    I swear, this Westboro Baptist Church bunch, give inbreeding a bad name.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ziggyfroMass

    Knoxville, FECAL CANNON! Ryan would be proud.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joe

    CNN, stop covering the Westboro Baptist Church. Enough is enough!

    June 22, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Inga

      Seriously. If no one paid them any attention, they'd stop. They do it to get a rise out of people and the media.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ziggyfroMass

    Knoxville, stick crap in a tube and fire it! Ryan would be proud.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Iamrightyouarewrong

    So Mr Dunn can shove toy cars up his butt and if that offends me I turn it off. So if Westboro offends you don't go.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      so the family shouldn't attend his public funeral? What if you happen to be driving to work in that area? Just "turn them off"? Man, you should get your GED before commenting.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Don

    Puhlease, out of all the funerals these people have protested this is one I care least about.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • ziggyfroMass

      What's wrong don? afraid of free speech?

      June 22, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jack

    Dunn is just another victim of the over night success in America. Young men than can't handle the fame. Another drunk Irishman. Thank God he only killed another drunk.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eirc

      That "other drunk" was a Navy Seal and did three tours of Iraq.. where were you?

      June 22, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jdh

    These protesters make me sick. Their only motivation is publicity. I think the vast majority of Americans have made it clear that we don't want to hear their "warnings." Its disgusting to see these people who call themselves christian basically celebrating the deaths of fellow human beings. I don't consider myself christian or religious but I do have morals and I think what they do to all the poor families of deceased soldiers and other people is just wrong.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elise

      This group is simply a hate group hiding behind the Christian name. They don't believe most of the bible, either. They think it has been altered. They hate everyone. They also picket schools, and other churches. Shirley Phelps-Roper even said the Amish kids "deserved to die" They have been denied official membership in the U.S. Baptist Church. Even the KKK has denounced them – Thats pretty bad! Fred Phelps has a criminal record, and does vote democrat – which is even the more strange considering how very anti gay they are. Fred thinks about gay s-x much more than any actual gay man I have ever met. We all know he is a closet case.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. LP1998

    Joe - you're exactly right. If news sources would STOP giving them publicity, they go back under the dung they crawled out from. I know Dunn wasn't military - but I hope the PATRIOT GUARD RIDERS show up anyway. (If I wasn't across the country, I'd be there on my bike.....)

    June 22, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bourneblogger

    We should all go up to Kansas and protest the Westboro church... We can use Dunn's Porshe to set the church on fire...

    June 22, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Kyle

    if they do end up protesting this funeral i see it turning very ugly really quick. for the simple fact his closest friends such as bam, steve-o, and johnny will end up doing something to prevent them from doing this to there best friend/brother. or one of his friends end up doing something to prevent it.

    easiest way to prevent this is do like the local community in mississippi did i believe they found the hotel they were staying at and blocked there vehicales in and the ones who made it to the funeral they were arrested and question for a robbery until after the funeral was over

    June 22, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ziggyfroMass

    The next headline.... BREAKING NEWS... westboro church just meet their match.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Malakas

    Drinking and driving, especially while speeding in inexcusable! Imagine if he had taken a minivan full of families with children?!

    June 22, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. IrvineLawyer

    I honestly don't think he'd want his funeral to be any other way- filled with laughs as his co-stars will more-than-likely set up a good prank for WBC.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
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