Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Here is what’s in the documents that are prompting a new look at Casey Kasem’s death

We’re very glad to see that the CBS program 48 Hours is taking on the bizarre story of Casey Kasem’s final days, and that they appear to be taking seriously the work done by a private investigator on behalf of Jean Kasem — work that has revealed new facts so troubling, a Washington state police chief announced this week that he has opened a new look at the legendary radio DJ’s 2014 death.

Jean sent us the same documents when her investigator, Hank Foresta, put them together more than a year ago. Some of the material he had dug up about the Kasem family drama was simply stunning. But it was a huge undertaking — Foresta’s document package was hundreds of pages long — and we never got the chance to dig into it the way we had wanted to.

However, we did look into one crucial part of it, and we hope and expect that CBS will also dig into it in their episode tomorrow night.

We’re going to assume that you know much of the backstory already — Casey Kasem developed Lewy body dementia, a devastating wasting disease that there is no cure for. As his health declined, he was caught in a tug of war between the children of his first family—daughters Kerri and Julie, and son Mike—and his second family, with wife Jean Thompson Kasem and their daughter Liberty.



[No love lost: Kerri Kasem and Jean Kasem]

Kerri is a Scientologist who has become very visible in recent years with Scientology front groups. She just popped up here the other day in her Scientology Volunteer Minister garb at the scene of a California wildfire.

While Jean and Kerri were fighting over Casey in his final days, Jean repeatedly made the accusation that Kerri and her siblings were Scientologists who wanted his money for the church. Jean herself acted in some bizarre ways, taking Casey to Las Vegas at one point and then ending up with him in Silverdale, a Seattle suburb, in what seemed to be an attempt to keep him from Kerri and her siblings.

A Santa Monica judge granted Kerri power to make medical decisions for her father, and a Washington judge gave her the right to visit him there and have him examined by a doctor.

Jean wanted that examination to happen in the home where they were staying. But Kerri wanted it to happen at a local hospital. (By this time, Casey had lost the ability to speak, and so his own wishes were unknown.)

The crucial matter is this: What condition was Casey in at the time when Kerri had her father taken to St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington on May 30, 2014 for the check up?

There was a lot of reporting on the bizarre things happening at the end of Casey Kasem’s life, but one piece in particular seemed to have a big effect on how those events were perceived by the public. It was a lengthy and well-written feature story that appeared in the January 2015 issue of GQ, which contained some key quotes from Kerri Kasem.

The GQ article makes two crucial statements about how bad things were for Casey at the point he went to St. Anthony hospital.

First, a quote from Kerri: “My dad was moaning because he had a bedsore bigger than the size of my hand—almost to the bone…He was moaning because he had a bladder infection and she had no painkillers.”

And then GQ’s description:

“By the time Kerri got her father to St. Anthony Hospital near Seattle, he was alert but in critical condition.”

The GQ article presents the idea that Casey was in such terrible shape after the way Jean had cared for him, Kerri had little choice but to cut off his food and water and allow him to die.


But court documents and new affidavits don’t support that description.

First, there’s a sworn affidavit from Dr. Donald Sharman, who was Casey’s doctor at the time. Here’s what he says in sworn testimony:

“I was Casey Kasem’s Primary Care Physician in Washington. Casey was under my care and supervision along with Gentiva Home Health Care. Casey was exceptionally well cared for.”


“It was my professional medical opinion, that the so-called ‘independent medical evaluation,’ should have taken place at the residence as a house call and not by prying Casey from his family and peaceful home environment. It was against my warnings to forcibly remove Casey from the family home against his will, to take him to a hospital, which caused him extreme trauma and stress.”


“After Dr. Regimbal [of St. Anthony Hospital] examined Casey Kasem, his medical report concluded that Casey had been receiving appropriate medical care prior to his arrival at St. Anthony Hospital and that Casey was stable and could return home to the care he was receiving.” (Emphasis ours.)

Kerri didn’t allow her father to return home, however, and the day after that examination, there was a hearing about it in Kitsap County Superior Court. Here’s what Judge Jennifer Forbes said, according to an official court transcript:

“It didn’t sound to me like there was a compelling argument from the doctor in the report that he needed to stay in the hospital. It was more for observation purposes overnight and that has occurred right?…The report says, ‘I recommend a brief observation stay to optimize wound management followed by ongoing care in either skilled nursing or adult family home or in-home with 24-hour skilled/assistant skilled nursing care.’ That’s the recommendation that I have. This was written yesterday…So for me, we’ve reached that stage from this report. At this point in time, I’m going to authorize that he can return home to Silverdale if Dr. Sharman, after consulting with his current treating physician in the hospital, agree that he is medically stable. and it’s safe for him to return home to his wife.”

The judge, in other words, agreed with Casey Kasem’s physician, Dr. Sharman, that Casey should return home to Jean after his hospital visit.

Instead, Kerri kept Casey in St. Anthony and then removed his food and hydration. Casey died two weeks later.

We were stunned when we saw these court records, and so we looked up Dr. Sharman and gave him a call, wanting to hear from him directly what kind of shape Casey was in when his daughter had him removed from Jean’s home.

“He had skin breakdown, but Jean had done a pretty good job keeping the wounds clean. We had home health involved in his care, so he had wound care in the home setting,” Sharman told us.

Were the wounds unusually bad, as Kerri claimed to GQ?


“Wounds, unusual? No, they were not.”

So it wasn’t necessary to do what Kerri ordered, to have his food and water stopped?

“That was my opinion. He was in a safe environment being taken care of.”

And what were the possible outcomes? What was his prognosis?

“Overall it wasn’t all that good, but you never can predict that kind of thing. If someone takes really good care of that person, they can last a long time,” Dr. Sharman said.

Well, we were shaken after that call with Dr. Sharman. We understand how Jean Kasem is perceived by the public, and she has certainly earned her reputation for being eccentric. She acted bizarrely numerous times during Casey’s ordeal. But according to Casey’s Washington doctor, and the St. Anthony physician, and the Kitsap County judge, Casey Kasem had every right to go back home to Jean, where he was receiving proper care, and might have lived some time longer.

Instead, his food and water was removed, and he died on June 14, 2014. He was 82.

We are really looking forward to what CBS has to say about this tomorrow night.

UPDATE (Feb 6): The Gig Harbor Police have completed their investigation and cleared the family of any wrongdoing.

“The Gig Harbor Police Department investigation revealed that the standard of care delivered to Mr. Kasem by medical personnel was appropriate and that any medical decisions were made by family members authorized to act on his behalf,” the police said in a statement.


Clay Irwin was right: Downtown Clearwater getting gobbled up by Scientologists

Tracey McManus has another terrific piece at the Tampa Bay Times today, confirming something Clay Irwin told us, that Mexico City Scientologist and developer Moises Agami is buying up multiple parcels in downtown Clearwater. Clay was told that Agami and Tom Cruise want to make some kind of entertainment district for visiting Scientologists, but there’s no confirmation of that yet. But for now, McManus has the hard data on how much storefront property has been gobbled up.


Scientology’s celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs’ — now with comments!

[Kelly Preston, Beck, and Anne Archer]

We’re building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs.’ We’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them, in order to build a record and maintain a watch as Scientology continues its inexorable decline — and yes, we finally have comments working on these new pages! Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Today’s Scientology front: Criminon!



Now on sale: Twice the Miss Lovely!

Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. What a pleasure it is for us to work with her on this after we wrote about her ordeal as a victim of Scientology’s “Fair Game” campaigns in our 2015 book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, which is also on sale in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions.



[ONE year ago] We’ve cooked up for you a special Scientology Thanksgiving — so pass the Source!
[TWO years ago] Before Leah Remini burns it to the ground, here’s Scientology’s side of the story
[THREE years ago] Another Scientology rehab death — and why this one is particularly bad for David Miscavige
[FOUR years ago] VIDEO: Watch a Scientology spy get busted by Marc Headley in Las Vegas last night
[FIVE years ago] Jon Atack: Why do Scientologists Find it So Difficult to Apologize?
[SIX years ago] Scientology Interviews John Travolta: Oddly, Massage Therapy Not Discussed


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,277 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,910 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,390 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 453 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 341 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,648 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,516 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,290 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,064 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,410 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,976 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 6,896 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,063 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,644 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,904 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,944 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,656 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,182 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,271 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,411 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,731 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,587 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,706 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,062 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,364 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,470 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,873 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,744 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,327 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,832 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,076 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,185 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on November 23, 2018 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2017 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2017), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates

Join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email