Hundreds of mourners gathered over the weekend in Bloomington, Indiana to remember the life of slain Indiana University Professor and talented gay writer Don Belton. Belton was stabbed to death in his home over the holiday weekend by Michael J. Griffin, 25, a decorated Marine who claims he was sexually assaulted twice by the victim on Christmas Day and returned later seeking an apology with a 10-inch military knife in hand that was later used to take Belton's life.
Jonathan Elmer, chair of the IU Department of English in the College of Arts and Sciences, said Belton was a well-liked and talented faculty member who was respected by faculty, staff and students.
"Don Belton's friends, colleagues and students in the English Department are shocked and terribly saddened by the news of his death," Elmer said. "His great talents as a writer, his extraordinary generosity to his students, and his warmth of personality were gifts to us all. We will miss him terribly."
Rod 2.0 has covered Belton's murder brilliantly since this tragedy occurred and reports: Virtual tributes are coming in from those who knew Don Belton. John Keene posts an excellent obituary, fellow writer Lev Raphael remembers going on book tour with Belton and Reggie Harris essays Belton's significance among LGBT writers.
A website has been established(justicefordonbelton.com) to remember Belton's life and to also monitor the progress of the criminal case and the media coverage.
Griffin has admitted to the killing but has plead not guilty and is currently being held without bond.
Read more about this tragic loss to our community here.
Watch the vigil below: