The late, legendary DJ Casey Kasem’s daughter Kerri Kasem and family members staged a press conference at Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles Friday to urge the Los Angeles Police Department to arrest Mr. Kasem’s widow Jean Kasem.
Jean Kasem removed Mr. Kasem, along with his surgically implanted feeding tube, from a Santa Monica hospital on May 7 and took him to the Seattle area, where he died June 15, 2014. Then she took his body to Montreal and Oslo, where it sat in a freezer for months until he was buried in an unmarked grave shortly before Christmas. “If this isn’t a case of elder abuse, I don’t know what is,” said Kerri Kasem attorney Martha Patterson. “It’s equivalent to taking a baby out of an incubator.”
“[Jean Kasem] took Casey on a five-day odyssey,” private investigator Logan Clarke told THR. “They ran out of food, bought a six-pack of Ensure at a drugstore, poured it into the feeding machine, and jammed it — and they’re saying this woman didn’t kill him? The nurse in the car took pictures of his colostomy bag full of blood. The cops have all the evidence. Belle Chen at the DA office told me she’d love to have a crack at this case. LAPD should be ashamed.”
“Detectives are still actively investigating the elder abuse case,” LAPD spokesperson Jane Kimtold THR. “They want to be as thorough as possible before a case is presented to the DA’s office.”
Jean Kasem and Chen did not return THR’s requests for comment. Jean Kasem said in June that Mr. Kasem’s death is the fault of Kerri Kasem, who took him off life support (because his 2007 health directive said to do so if life support “would result in a mere biological existence, devoid of cognitive function, with no reasonable hope for normal functioning”). “They all have blood on their hands,” said Jean Kasem of Kerri Kasem’s camp.
Kerri Kasem’s camp tells a very different story.
“Jean Kasem deserves to go to jail,” Kerri Kasem supporter Jason Patric told THR after the press conference, which was attended by about 45 people. “And if she doesn’t go to jail she’ll be in a hell she’s created for the rest of her life. The police department has to apprehend her. Then the legislature has to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Added Kerri Kasem, “We’ve started a foundation, Kasem Cares, and we’re behind Assemblyman Mike Gatto’s bill AB 2034. It would allow a judge to rule on visitation [when a spouse forbids family members to see a loved one], instead of forcing family members to apply for conservatorship, which could put you in the hole for $300-400,000 and cause delays of up to a year, and by that time your loved one could be dead. It’s a gap in the law, and it’s going to be filled.”
Between the two battling sides, Kerri Kasem and Jean Kasem (who reportedly hired 13 sets of lawyers) spent over $650,000 in legal fees, and are now fighting in court over who should pay court costs.
If LAPD does not arrest Jean Kasem, Kerri Kasem vows to take her campaign national.
“LAPD is just sitting on it, but we will continue to fight,” she told THR. “She did take him across state lines, and we can go to the Feds, we can go to Washington.” Said Clarke, “I’m talking to the FBI. LAPD wants Kerri to go quietly into the night, and it ain’t gonna happen.” Added Kerri Kasem, “We are not going to stop. I’m gonna get her.”
This article originally appeared in THR.com.