Casey Kasem Widow 'Right Out of a Raymond Chandler Novel,' Says Daughter's Private Investigator
Casey Kasem's body is missing — and the private detective for the late DJ's daughter alleges Kasem's widow took it to hide signs of elder abuse.
Kasem, who died June 15 at 82, was taken from a Tacoma funeral home despite a restraining order forbidding his removal or cremation. Kasem's daughter Kerri Kasem has accused his widow, Jean Kasem, of taking his body out of the country and keeping his burial a secret so his family wouldn't be able to visit.
"[Jean] is an extremely manipulative, cruel and egocentric individual," Kerri Kasem's private detective, Logan Clarke, tells The Hollywood Reporter .
Kerri Kasem previously told THR that she intends to file an elder abuse charge against Jean Kasem. "She tortured him," she said. She also had requested an autopsy of her father, and an autopsy petition hearing was slated for July 25.
"[Jean] never expected us or anyone to get to the body before Mr. Kasem died," says Clarke. "Based on the evidence my team and I have been uncovering, I believe that she planned on disposing or hiding the body as quickly as possible to keep anyone from finding evidence of her elder abuse and other crimes."
Jean Kasem did not return THR's emails, nor did her attorneys respond, but she told ABC News the body was not missing.
Police say they continue to investigate.
"Mr. Kasem's matter is an open and ongoing investigation," says Santa Monica spokesman Sgt. Rudy Camarena.
Clarke says he predicted the body would disappear.
"I told everyone if they didn’t move lightning-fast after Mr. Kasem passed that the body would be gone — simply because the body goes to the spouse immediately upon death," he says. "This is something that could be seen coming like a freight train at you blowing its horn!"
Clarke says Jean Kasem took the ailing, demented Casey Kasem from a Santa Monica hospital in May and disappeared until Clarke tracked them down in Washington state June 1. Kasem's family says the trip left him with bed sores and in declining health, which ultimately contributed to his death.
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When Kerri Kasem and the authorities took Casey Kasem to a Gig Harbor hospital in Washington state, Jean Kasem was cuaght on camera screaming, hurling a hamburger at them, and muttering about King David and dogs. Her macabre outburst, evidently meant to satirize the press — and Kasem's family — as canine carnivores devouring her dying husband, may have also been an allusion to the Bible's Psalm 59: "Deliver me from my enemies … let them make a noise like a dog … let them wander up and down for meat."
Explained Jean Kasem at the time, "If you want to know why I did it, when a person is about to pass away, there are always rabid dogs."
Oddly, on Casey Kasem's death certificate, Jean Kasem listed his residence as "Jerusalem, Israel." Kerri Kasem spokesman Danny Deraney tells THR, "If we knew what 'Jerusalem' meant, we would tell you."
Might this be another biblical allusion, suggesting that Mrs. Kasem feels persecuted, like residents of Jerusalem in the Bible?
"Yes, I believe you hit the nail on the head with that speculation," says Clarke. "She feels she is the victim here."
"She is right out of a Raymond Chandler novel," continues Clarke. "You can write a script on what she is going to do next. But not to worry. We have many tricks up our sleeve as well."
Mr. Kasem's children — Kerri, Mike and Julie Kasem — "hope that their father is buried in Forest Lawn in Glendale, per his wishes," says Deraney.
None of the family members returned THR's calls, but after the June meat-hurling incident, they questioned Jean Kasem's sanity. "She is absolutely crazy — no, I really mean it," said Linda Myers Naylor, Casey Kasem's first wife and the mother of Kerri and Julie Kasem.