Don Belton, a distinguished writer and one of the leading black gay voices in academia, has been brutally stabbed to death in his own home. And the young man accused of killing the Indiana University professor tells police the victim sexually assaulted him on Christmas Day and "showed no remorse", reports the Chicago Tribune.
Michael J. Griffin, 25, of Bloomington told police he visited Don Belton on Sunday to confront the 53-year-old assistant professor of English over two alleged assaults, the probable cause affidavit said. An argument and scuffle ensued. Griffin told police he stabbed Belton with a 10-inch military style knife after Belton failed to "show or express any type of feeling that what had taken place was a mistake," the affidavit said.
A friend who came to Belton's home in Bloomington on Monday found his body in the kitchen, authorities said. Police who were called to the scene found both doors unlocked and no signs of forced entry. Nothing was missing, said police Lt. David Drake.Drake said Belton was stabbed "at least five or six" times in the back and several times in the front of the torso. The affidavit said police found Belton's journal, which contained an entry saying that he was "very happy" that someone named Michael had entered his life. Police later received a call from Griffin's girlfriend saying she thought her boyfriend might be involved in the slaying.
Prior to arriving at IU Bloomington in fall 2008, Belton formerly taught at the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania, and, lectured at the Sorbonne, among other places. Belton also has written for Newsweek and The Advocate and edited Speak My Name, an critically-acclaimed anthology of essays on black masculinity.
The murder has shocked and saddened Belton's colleagues, some of whom shared the news on Twitter. John Keene, an associate professor of English and African American Studies at Northwestern University, tells Rod 2.0: "Don Belton was a literary pathblazer and one of the important black gay writers to emerge in the 1980s. His 1986 novel Almost Midnight heralded a wave of works to come. Kind, friendly, and very smart all come to mind when I think of Don."
Michael J. Griffin is being held without bond in the Monroe County Jail on a charge of murder. The initial court hearing is on Wednesday. Interesting comments at Queerty, where many readers say Griffin is "cute" and "hot".
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