Kerri Kasem, the daughter of the late American Top 40 DJ, Casey Kasem, has been on a mission to make sure what happened to her and her siblings does not happen to others. When her father’s health deteri orated from Parkinson’s disease, it sparked an ugly court battle between his children and his wife, Jean Kasem, which did not end until he died. By then, Casey Kasem was suffering from serious bed sores, a urinary tract infection, and sepsis.
Kerri Kasem feels that her father’s death could have been prevented if she and her siblings had been able to see him and monitor his care better, but there were not sufficient protections in the law to help.
Like many other adult children in her shoes, Kerri Kasem went to court to be able to see her father and make sure he was protected. She faced a very difficult time doing so in California. First, she and other friends and family members of Casey Kasem staged protests outside his house, begging for the right to visit. Next, Kerri and her siblings filed for conservatorship (which is what guardianship proceedings are called in California), eventually winning the right to visit and have contact with their father, after initially being denied those rights.
Finally, Kerri’s lawyer convinced a California judge to remove Jean Kasem — Casey Kasem’s wife — as his decision-maker, and name Kerri in her place. Once Kerri was appointed as the conservator, she rushed to try to protect her father. But, by then, it was too late. Casey had been moved around to various states, his health deteriorated, and he died shortly thereafter.
Kerri and her relatives pushed for elder abuse charges to be filed against Casey’s widow, Jean Kasem, contending that removing him from a nursing home against medical advice, and moving him around the country, caused or contributed to his death. After Casey died, Jean then had Casey’s body moved to Canada and finally to Norway, where he was eventually buried – without an autopsy having been performed.
Recently, the L.A. District Attorney’s office announced it would not prosecute the case due to lack of evidence of criminal neglect or abuse.