Gene Leonhardt ("You Dun Goofed" dad) dead at 53

Gene Leonhardt, who became an instant internet legend after angrily defending his daughter from online critics, died this week of a heart attack. He was 53. Know Your Meme writes:

On August 14th, 2011, Jessi’s mother posted a status update on her Facebook account claiming that her husband Gene Leonhardt passed away on August 11th, the same day her apology video was uploaded, due to a massive heart attack

A death notice was published in the Charleston Gazette.

Previously: Father of “Jessi Slaughter,” girl in “You Dun Goofed” video, arrested for child abuse
4chan “backtraced,” reported to “cyberpolice” by mustachioed mad dad.



    1. Or… maybe it was goof by all the grief from internet posters, such as yourself, who gave him no end of torment for one unwitting video, that was deemed “funny”.

      1. Hmm, maybe you are intimately familiar with the situation, but my guess would be that you don’t have grounds to play the “Maybe people like you, Tyler Burger, are responsible for this man’s death!” card.  In fact, it sounds like a pretty wild accusation.

  1. How sad is it that this guy lived a rich full life, and he’s remembered for that stupid video?

  2. Jessi Slaughter: The only real difference between her and me was that the Internet wasn’t around when I was her age, and white girls get away with just a smidgen more. We’d have been friends in the pokey. What she’s done is really not all that different than what I did back then. Attention whoring? Histrionics? That’s what it is to have hormones, a sex drive, and no sense of proportion. You couldn’t pay me to be 13 again.  Foster care was where I ended up, too.  Then group homes, then treatment centers.  Then, suddenly, adulthood.  Hope she has kind people around her.  Also: My dad was an asshole a lot, but I still miss him.

  3. The internet as an intermediary social technology certainly does make it easier to wrap someone up in a simply explanation and toss him into some classification, often times the dustbin.  

    Yeah, I know it’s not new but it’s much easier now.

  4. We all gotta go sometime.

    If you’re lucky it’ll be in relative anonymity.

    This guy: not so lucky.

  5. @yahoo-QN6WUG7WMBDAGUPFVSJ6HJAS2A:disqus :  Pissing into an ocean of piss, etc..

    @google-6bd320334380d5f17141b8a0483f9b9f:disqus :  Hey, guys… I was just backtracing sum fortunes when HNNNNNNNNNNNNG!

    @boingboing-a8f8f60264024dca151f164729b76c0b:disqus :  Tales like yours make me sad(der?) for humanity.  That totally sucks, and you’re probably right to hope ol’ Jessi has some caring supporters (and has the sense to stay off Internets for a while).

    I still think Miss Slaughter’s a total waste of skin and hair, but… ::shrug:: …whatevs.

  6. “I still think Miss Slaughter’s a total waste of skin and hair, but… ::shrug:: …whatevs.”

    Who at 13 justifies their allotment of skin and hair? I sure as hell didn’t.

  7. IDK, I’m not going to get critical about myself because I laughed THEN and hes dead NOW. It seems that if we were to “learn” from this then we wouldn’t laugh at anything because something else in the future might happen that might make us feel bad about it.
    w/e, he’s dead, I’m sorry for the family, but I’m not gonna apologize, beat myself up, or tut-tut at other people over something like this. I thought him yelling at everyone was funny. I think that he is dead now is sad (especially at his age.) Two different events in part of a timeline and I’m not going to let them coincide with each other.

  8. Excuse me, “online critics?”

    Why is this the first time BoingBoing won’t mention Anonymous by name? They did it. In between defending our freedoms from evil corporations or whatever, they took the time to systematically bully a teenager.

    1. An abused teenager. And anyone who said that maybe that wasn’t such a great thing to do was yelled at for being a sanctimonious prick. ‘Internet Culture’ can fuck off, pretty much.

    2. “They took the time to systematically bully a teenager”

      Ahhh, guilt by association, my favorite canard.

      If a police officer beats his neighbor with a baton, are all police responsible?

      1. Last I checked, Anonymous prides itself on being a single aggregate entity, to such a point that it will ostracize anyone with enough individuality to give their name.  So, yes.  If Anonymous wants to be a single entity, I do hold it accountable for all of its actions.

        1. As I understand it – there are two different things. There are the “/b/tards” and “Anonymous”, The /b/tards are pretty much anyone who hangs out in the random forum (/b/) of While Anonymous hangs out and got their origins there, they are their own entity.

          So while people involved with Anonymous were probably in the fray, they would have been a fraction of the overall users and no more responsible as BoingBoing would be if some of their members are on /b/.

    3. A teenager that probably needed the wake-up call. The reality is, it was
      a failure of the parents that allowed her to be in that position.

  9. You mean the notice was placed in an out of state paper that prints free notices with no verification and the proof comes from an open facebook account of someone who was stalked and hounded online relentlessly?
    Yeah.. totally seems legit..

    1. Exactly what I was thinking. I would hope that BoingBoing’s /b/-dar would be a little more sensitive and require more evidence before helping to publicize what could very well be a troll.

  10. I’m just going to go ahead and posit that it’s possible to 
    A) have found the video funny,
    B) think that the abuse allegations are awful,
    C) think this man’s death is sad and
    D) still be a decent human being, and to do all of these things at the same time. Imagine that!

  11. MMmm – I don’t think that ever panned out. I believe that stems from a police statement saying they were looking for alleged photos, but never found any evidence of them. So yeah… not so much.

    He did hit her though, and was charged with abuse.

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