Casey Kasem's Body: Norwegian Authorities Reconsidering Decision To Approve Jean Kasem's Request To Bury DJ In Oslo
Casey Kasem’s children and friends plead with the Norwegian government not to allow for Kasem’s widow, Jean Kasem, to have the radio legend buried in Norway.
Jean Kasem To Bury Casey Kasem In Norway
Jean requested that her husband be buried in Norway on Aug. 7, claiming she intends to move there and that she is of Norwegian descent. While officials originally granted her request, Norwegian officials are reportedly reconsidering their decision after receiving the letter from Kasem’s friends and family.
Kasem’s daughter, Kerri Kasem, who also works in radio, has been very vocal about protecting her father from his widow, who she claims kept Kasem away from his children and friends in the last months of his life. Though Kerri was awarded temporary conservatorship over her father shortly before he died on June 15, Kerri and her siblings, Mike and Julie, reported that their father’s body was missing in July, and accused their stepmother, Jean, of hiding it from them.
Jean reportedly had Kasem’s body moved from Washington state, where he died, to a funeral home in Montreal, Canada, before writing Norway to request a burial overseas.
“[Kasem] always said that Norway symbolizes peace and looks like heaven and I would like to respectfully fulfill his wishes,” Jean wrote.
Wenche Elizabeth Madsen Eriksson, Oslo’s Managing Director of Funeral Service confirmed to NBC news that Jean had been granted permission to bury Kasem in Oslo.
Casey Kasem's Children Write To Norway
When Kasem’s children heard the news, they rallied together with their father’s friends and wrote their own letter to the Norwegian government, asking that they deny Jean’s request. In their letter, Kerri and her siblings claim that, as far as they know, Jean is not of Norwegian descent, nor has their father ever spoken of being buried in Norway.
“As beautiful as your country is, our father has never spoken of any desire to be buried in Norway either to us or to his friends. In fact, it was the opposite. Casey wanted to be buried in his hometown of Los Angeles, California, his home of over 53 years,” the letter begins.
— Kerri Kasem (@KerriKasem) August 19, 2014
In the letter, the authors also claim that Jean had neglected her husband's in the last months of his life, focusing instead on her new boyfriend, John Paul Gressy:
“Do not be fooled into believing his wife, Jean Kasem, who abandoned and isolated him during the last year of his life in favor of her boyfriend, John Paul Gressy. To our knowledge, Jean is not by any means of Norwegian descent. Her grandmother that she speaks of in her letter to you is not Norwegian. In fact, here is a quote from Jean’s nephew Herbert ‘Tommy’ Thompson who was named after Jean’s father, ‘As far as we know, we are English, German and Native American. We have never ever heard anyone speak of Norway or Norwegian for that matter in our house. We don’t have an ounce of Norwegian blood to our knowledge.’”
Furthermore, the letter alludes to the charges of elder-abuse against Jean brought forth by Kasem’s three eldest children, suggesting that she may be attempting to relocate to Europe before authorities have the chance to complete their investigation.
“We believe the representations made to you have been perpetuated by not only Jean, but her daughter, Liberty [Kasem], because of the ongoing investigation from local authorities of criminal elder abuse,” reads the letter.
Included in the letter, which has been signed by family and friends, is a separate letter from former California Lt. Governor Mike Curb that apparently “states his knowledge that Casey wanted to be buried in California as we ALL know.”
Norwegian Authorities Reconsidering Their Decision
In response to the letter, Eriksson says that Norwegian officials are looking into Jean’s claims of Norwegian descent and have reconsidered their initial position, telling NBC News, “We are looking at it once again to see if we made the right decision or not. The relatives are saying she has no ancestry in Norway… and they say that she’s not going to move to Norway at all. They also said she has not been visiting him and doesn’t care about him at all. We don’t know if it’s true. We need to talk to our lawyers to do more research.”