The body of DJ Casey Kasem, who died June 15 in Gig Harbor, Washington, is headed to Oslo, Norway, according to a report in the Norwegian newspaper VG, which was confirmed by Logan Clarke, a private investigator for Kasem’s daughter Kerri Kasem. He told The Hollywood Reporter, “He’s going to be buried in Norway.”
In the Norwegian press account, Wenche Madsen Eriksson, a government official, was quoted by reporter Marcus Husby saying, “It is arranged. He’s going to Oslo.” The report said the official would not specify which of Oslo’s 20 cemeteries and one crematorium was chosen by Kasem’s widow, Jean Kasem, who did not return THR’s email. Her attorney declined to comment.
Oslo may be the end of a more than 7,900-mile odyssey that began in May, when Jean Kasem took the ailing Casey Kasem from a Santa Monica hospital to Las Vegas and then to Washington State, where Clarke tracked them down. Despite a Tacoma judge’s restraining order in July, Jean Kasem moved her husband’s remains to Montreal.
In Oslo, Husby notes, it would cost $2,437 to bury Kasem, who was reportedly worth $80 million. “We don’t know what [Jean Kasem’s] plans are,” says Danny Deraney, spokesman for Kerri Kasem. “We just know that she wants to keep Casey away from [his] family and friends and by the looks of it, hiding from law enforcement.” Family members tell THR that the feud between Jean Kasem and her husband’s family has gone on for 35 years.
Santa Monica Police are investigating Kerri Kasem’s allegation that her stepmother Jean Kasem abused the late Kasem. Kerri Kasem also backs Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) and his bill AB 2034, which would require the conservator for an elder or dependent adult to notify family members in case of acute medical treatment, death or funeral arrangements. The bill went to the California Senate floor on today, the same day the news broke that Kasem’s body had been moved to Norway.
The latest development in the Kasem story complicates any legal case involving his treatment. In June, the former Santa Monica Police public information officer Lt. Jay Moroso told THR, “Mr. Kasem was [out] of the state after May 7, 2014, so there are jurisdictional issues with regard to where incidents occurred relative to any elder abuse claims.” If Kasem is cremated or buried in Norway, Kerri Kasem’s side may have more jurisdictional issues to contend with. “As far as Norway, we don’t know what their rules and regulations are,” Deraney said.
But Clarke is confident that his investigation will prevail. “I don’t think we need to exhume the body, we have so much evidence — video, photos, witnesses — and the police have collected so much evidence,” Clarke said. “If this is not elder abuse, there is no such thing. And if the police drop this case, I’ll take it on the 6:00 news.”
“There is no connection my dad has with Norway,” says Kerri Kasem’s brother, Mike Kasem, who bitterly criticizes his stepmother. “I don’t know if Jean has any ties to Oslo. She certainly has never mentioned it in the last 35 years. Check the exhumation laws there; sounds like a possibility that is the reason she will bury him there. My dad deserves to be buried where he specifically asked to be buried: Forest Lawn. Everyone keeps asking for motives as to why Jean acts how she acts. I don’t have an answer.”
- This article originally appeared in THR.com.