In 1982, at the age of 25, Deirdre O’Brien was abducted, raped and murdered by a serial murderer. Her killer was caught, convicted and sentenced to two 30-year terms in state prison.
In the winter of 1994, then Prosecutor Michael Murphy and Assistant Prosecutor Karin Kelly-Weisert approached the O’Brien family regarding the possibility of opening a Child Advocacy Center (CAC) to serve the children of Morris County. At the time, Deirdre’s father Jim O’Brien was a member of the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the president of the Statewide Coalition of Crime Victims. They presented a plan for a child advocacy center for abused children and asked Mr. O’Brien for help in securing a location for the center. With the cooperation of the Freeholder Board, the county purchased the house at 8 Court St. in Morristown and gave a long-term lease to the newly formed non-profit CAC. Shortly after, the Freeholders asked the O’Brien family to allow the CAC to be named after Deirdre in honor of their work on behalf of the victims of crime in NJ. Deirdre’s House was opened in April of 1996 with then Gov. Christie Whitman officiating at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Since our opening Deirdre’s House has opened its door over 32,000 times to child victims of abuse and/or neglect and children that have witnessed violence.