Casey Kasem's body was taken from Tacoma, Washington's Gaffney Funeral Home to Canada, a Gaffney worker confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter on July 23, but his distraught relatives don't have any specific information on the whereabouts of his remains a month after his death.
"It looks like it is the case [that Kasem is in Canada]," says family spokesman Danny Deraney. "But we are not 100 percent sure. Kerri, Mike and Julie [Kasem] deserve the right to know where their father is buried. Nobody is asking to negotiate. It's a right they, along with his family and friends, deserve."
Asked why Casey's widow, Jean Kasem (who prefers to be called Jeannie), might be hiding his father's corpse from his children, Mike Kasem tells THR that she's "demonstrated what we have known for 30 years: She's bat-shit crazy."
Mike Kasem also poses 10 questions regarding the sincerity of his stepmother's love for his father: "If she loved him, then where was she at the end of his life when we reached out to have her by his side? Why would she leave his remains for weeks before making a move? Why would she recite scripture while hurling raw hamburger meat at my sister? Why would she cut him off from everyone he loves, friends included — are we all assholes? Why would she rip him out of a care facility at 2 a.m. against doctors' orders to take him on a road trip he is not equipped to handle? Why would she list their residence on the death certificate for the last 18 years as 'Jerusalem, Israel'? Why would she play actress, fall to the floor in front of cameras outside the courtroom, screaming, 'They have blood on their hands,' and then go hang out with her boyfriend? Or tell a judge he's incompetent? Why would she call a nurse at the hospital a fat-ass? Why wouldn't she ask the doctors why we took him off life support? Because your husband was choking on his own fluids! Which you would have known if you had cared to be there or inquire! Pattern much? Would anyone care for some nuts? I've had too much over the last 30 years, no thanks."
Neither the widow's lawyers nor Jeannie Kasem herself responded to THR's emails, except for sending THR an apparently accidental cc of a letter to her attorney instructing him to "stick to the agreement" — apparently an agreement not to give THR an interview.
Widow Kasem did tell CNN she has been "blackmailed" by her husband's children for 35 years. "This is a shakedown and I will not negotiate with terrorists," she told CNN. "I will not give in to their blackmail and attacks."
Mike's sister Kerri Kasem is pursuing an elder-abuse case against Jeannie Kasem for allegedly accelerating Casey's decline when she took him on what Mike's aunt Mary Kasem calls a "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" from a Santa Monica hospital to Las Vegas to Arizona to Las Vegas to rural Washington State. She is also backing a bill to make it illegal to forbid adult children visitation rights with their aging or incapacitated parents.
Jeannie Kasem habitually hid ailing Casey Kasem from his children for years, according to multiple family members, and fought Kerri Kasem's legal attempts to force such meetings, and to seize control of her father's health care authority. Upon his death, authority over the body reverted to Jeannie Kasem.
"The bill (AB 2034) is currently on suspense in the Senate Appropriations Committee," says Jason Insalaco, district director for Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles). "The bill will be heard in Senate Appropriations on August 15."
- This article originally appeared in THR.com.