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Casey Kasem

Rotting in Norway

11/7/2014 11:38 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
1107_casey-kasum-getty2Casey Kasem's body is decomposing in a Scandinavian mortuary ... and his kids have gone to court before there's no body left to bury.

Kerri Kasem filed legal docs -- obtained by TMZ -- asking a judge to force Jean Kasem to bring Casey's remains back to the U.S.

Casey died in June, and his body has been rotting away in Norway since August.

Jean has not even had the body embalmed, according to legal docs. 

The children are also worried an autopsy will be fruitless if the decomposition continues.They believe Jean's motive is to make an autopsy impossible so she will not be prosecuted for elder abuse ... something the LAPD is investigating.

In other words ... if time goes on and the body remains in Norway ... Jean could dodge a bullet.

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Rapper Big Paybacc

Shot and Killed

Inside a McDonald's

11/7/2014 4:52 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news
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Rapper Big Paybacc was shot and killed Thursday inside a McDonald's in Palmdale, CA and police say this was no random shooting ... it was personal.

The 38-year-old rapper (real name Habeeb Ameer Zekajj) was reportedly eating lunch at 12:30 PM when someone walked in and shot him once. Police say there were about 15 other customers inside at the time.

LA County Sheriff’s Department Lt. John Corina told reporters, "There was no altercation ... This guy just walked in through one door, shot him and left out another door. So it looked like something personal. He had something against this individual. It wasn’t like he shot up the McDonald’s. He just shot him and left."

His girlfriend told reporters he left behind three children.

Michael Jackson

Prosecutor Tom Sneddon

Dead

11/2/2014 7:02 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news
1102-tom-sneddon-getty-02Tom Sneddon -- the prosecutor who tried twice to nail Michael Jackson on child molestation charges -- has died.

Sneddon -- who served as D.A. of Santa Barbara County for more than a quarter century -- famously lost the case against Jackson in 2005, in which Jackson was accused of plying his alleged victim with wine, sexually assaulting him at Neverland and holding his family hostage.

But Sneddon went after Jackson more than a decade before, trying to prosecute the singer for allegedly molesting a boy at Neverland.  Jackson made the boy's civil case go away at a cost of $20 million and the boy and his family refused to cooperate with Sneddon, so the case went away.

Sneddon, who had 9 kids, fiercely believed Jackson was a child molester.  For Jackson's part, in one of his tracks you hear him say, "Tom Sneddon is a cold man."

He died of cancer.

Static X Singer

Wayne Static

Dies at 48

11/2/2014 7:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news
1102-wayne-static-x-gettyStatic X singer Wayne Static has died at the age of 48. 

The band released a statement late Saturday night about his death ... but no details surrounding how he passed away were given.

The band hit it big in '99 with their song "Push It" and their album went platinum. They went on to make 5 more ... but after breaking up in 2013, the front man pursued a solo career.

Wayne was set to co-headline tours with Powerman 5000 and Drowning Pool in the coming months.



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Virgin Galactic SpaceShip

EXPLODES

Pilot Dead

10/31/2014 11:48 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
103114_virgin_galactic_fox_launchA Virgin Galactic spaceship exploded during a test flight Friday over California's Mojave Desert  ... leaving one crew member dead and another severely injured.

Virgin Galactic says their SpaceShipTwo experienced "an in-flight anomaly" after it launched at 9:15 AM.

103114_virgin_galactic_nbc_launch_v2The spacecraft is launched after it is released from another aircraft in flight.  According to reports the spaceship blew up shortly after the release and it's engines ignited.

The plane that released the spacecraft landed safely.

The spaceship is designed to go 62 miles above Earth. It's unclear how high the doomed craft was when it blew up.

A bunch of celebs have reportedly signed up for the initial launch already -- including Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt and Justin Bieber.

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson tweeted about the incident, saying he planned to fly to Mojave immediately to be with the team.

Story developing ...

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Melissa Rivers

Lawyered Up and Ready to Sue

Over Joan's Death

10/28/2014 1:30 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details
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Joan Rivers
' daughter Melissa has retained a law firm that will file a major lawsuit over her mom's death ... TMZ has confirmed.

We're told the firm -- Gair, Gair, Conason, Steigman, Mackauf, Bloom & Rubinowitz -- will file a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit against the clinic where Joan stopped breathing and the doctors who were involved.

Our sources say Melissa retained the firm Tuesday, but the suit won't be filed for around a month.

We're told letters are going out today to the various people involved in the fatal medical procedure, telling them NOT to destroy records involving Joan's treatment. The lawyers also want phone logs and other documents.

As we reported ... one of the driving forces for Melissa is to figure out how her mom died, but in the end, it's a lawsuit over money.

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Oscar Taveras

St. Louis Cards Outfielder

Killed in Car Crash

10/26/2014 6:57 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news
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St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras -- a 22-year-old rising star -- died Sunday in a car crash in the Dominican Republic.

According to a rep for the team, Taveras was driving the car -- with his girlfriend on board -- when he lost control and the car went off the road.  Oscar's girlfriend also died in the wreck.

Officials are investigating the cause of the wreck -- though local police say rainy conditions may have been a factor.

Oscar's teammate Kolten Wong went to Twitter moments ago and wrote, "Wow! My heart truly hurts to hear the passing of Oscar! I've played with him every year and we truly lost a great person! #RIPOscarTaveras"

Oscar was a rising star in the MLB -- and most recently hit a home run during Game 2 of the NLCS against the SF Giants.




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Marcia Strassman

Mom From 'Honey, I Shrunk the Kids'

Dies at 66

10/26/2014 8:25 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news
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Marcia Strassman -- perhaps best known for playing the mom from the "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" movies -- died Saturday after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 66.

She got her first big recurring role on "M*A*S*H" playing Nurse Cutler ... but struck it big playing the part of Julie Kotter, Gabe Kaplan's wife on "Welcome Back, Kotter."

"Curb Your Enthusiasm" director Bob Weide, a long-time friend of Strassman's, was one of the first to break the news of her passing. He wrote on Twitter, "So sad that a sweet friend, kind person & wonderful actress Marcia Strassman lost her brave battle with cancer today."

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Cream Singer Jack Bruce

Dead at 71 From Liver Disease

10/25/2014 8:43 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details
1025-jack-bruce-getty-01Jack Bruce -- who sang some of Cream's biggest hit songs -- has died at the age of 71.

The singer/bass player's family revealed the news on his website Saturday morning ... and his rep tells us he died from liver disease.  We're told he had been sick since January.

Bruce sang lead vocals on classic Cream songs like "Sunshine of Your Love" and "White Room."

The group also included Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker ... and they were all inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

Bruce was considered one of the best bass players of all time.

Editorial ... He was awesome.  RIP



Scary Kids Scaring Kids Singer

Family Tells Cops

Heroin Killed Him

10/23/2014 4:30 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
Tyson Stevens OverdoseScary Kids Scaring Kids singer Tyson Stevens died from a drug overdose, possibly heroin ... that's what his mom and girlfriend told cops. 

Stevens died Monday and the official cause of death is unknown. But law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... there's smoke. The girlfriend and mom say Stevens had struggled with heroin addiction for a long time, although he was recently clean.

Our sources say Stevens' body had "old track marks" that had scabbed on his inner right ankle. We're told there was no heroin in the house where he died, but cops did find weed and pipes.

The toxicology report should reveal precise cause of death. It's due in a few weeks.

'August: Osage County' Star

Cops Call BS on Abuse Claim

10/23/2014 6:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news
1023-misty-upham-getty-02Cops in Washington State say they NEVER abused "August: Osage County" star Misty Upham during multiple run-ins in the past year ... despite what her family is claiming.

Auburn PD says there hasn't been one mistreatment complaint from Misty, her family, the local hospital, or the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe.

Misty's family has insinuated police gave her a black eye and swollen jaw during one run-in ... but cops tell us the official report says Upham told officers she sustained the black eye after jumping out of a window.

As for the search for Misty -- whose body was found in a ravine last week -- police say, "Officers immediately followed up on all reports of her possible whereabouts." They say they made several attempts to contact her mobile phone, but her service had been disconnected before she went missing.

As we previously reported ...  Misty went off a steep cliff near her home and apparently died from the fall.

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Joan Rivers

Melissa Has 'No Choice' But to Sue

10/23/2014 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
1022_melissa_joan_rivers_tmz2Melissa Rivers will sue the medical center where Joan died and the doctors as well because it's the only way she can find out what really happened to her mom.

Sources connected to the Rivers family tell TMZ ... after the New York Dept. of Health and Human Services came out with its findings that Yorkville Endoscopy LLC was "deficient" in surgical services and medical staff ... Melissa tried to find out the root of the problems and if they caused her mom's death, but she was shut down.

We're told Melissa got advice from her lawyers ... the only way to know precisely what happened is to file a lawsuit, which entitles her to force doctors and facility staff to sit for sworn depositions and answer questions about what happened the day Joan stopped breathing.

Melissa, we're told, is frustrated because it's apparent the facility and the Dept. of Health know exactly what happened, so her only recourse is court.

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'La Bamba' Star Elizabeth Pena

Died From Alcohol Abuse

10/22/2014 2:52 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
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Elizabeth Pena
-- who became famous playing Ritchie Valens' brother's baby mama in "La Bamba" -- died from complications from alcohol abuse.

According to the death certificate -- obtained by TMZ -- Pena suffered from cirrhosis of the liver "due to alcohol."  She had the disease for months, but it became acute shortly before her death.

The death certificate says the 55-year-old had acute gastrointestinal bleeding hours before her death, which caused her heart to stop.

Pena died October 14th at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in L.A.

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