Burlington murder suspect was star student, athlete, poet

Victim died of strangulation, suffocation, body discovered by schoolchildren

BPD detective Lt. Mike Beliveau yesterday announces arrest of Claude Mumbere of Burlington (see here in 2011 NASA photo) for murder of a Burlington woman July 7.

Claude Mumbere, 29, Burlington, was arrested and charged Monday with second degree aggravated murder in the July 7 death of Kelly Cusson of Burlington, Burlington police said at a press conference yesterday

Cusson’s death in a secluded area of South Champlain Street followed an “intentional and targeted meeting” of her and Mumbere, police said. The two walked consensually to the place where Cusson died. But police would not speculate on the nature of their relationship.

Cusson’s body was found by schoolchildren, who reported it to an adult, who told police. “The officers saw signs of potential sexual assault,” Beliveau said.  An autopsy revealed bodily evidence “indicative of foul play, including strangulation and smothering.”

A reporter at the press conference noted that Mumbere had more than a dozen court cases, including lewd and lascivious behavior, going back to 2020. Some are still pending, due to mental health questions.

State’s Attorney Sarah George confirmed the case file concerns about Mumbere’s mental health. Several cases, “all non-violent,” are pending due to Covid-era backlog, she also confirmed.

Mumbere is currently incarcerated as police continue to develop the case against him. 

Who is Claude Mumbere?

Mumbere’s family moved to the U.S. from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2005, according to media reports. They arrived in Burlington several years later. Mumbere’s father, a noted playwright and author, was a visiting scholar at St. Michaels College. 

The apple didn’t fall far from the tree as Mumbere won a two-time winner (2011 and 2012) Vermont Poetry Outloud contest, for which he was praised in a resolution by the Vermont Legislature. For the 2011 poetry contest he recited “Do not go gentle into that good night” by Dylan Thomas,  “I’m a Fool to Love You” by Cornelius Eady, and “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” by 16th-century Christopher Marlowe. A BHS varsity soccer player and honors English student, he graduated from Ithaca College, where he was a member of the African Students’ Association. 

According to his Linked In site, his work history includes:

  • Associate, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in Burlington, Feb 2018 – Present (5 years, 6 months)
  • VPIRG Canvasser, during the summer of 2016, which he described as “statewide fundraising and political lobbying for legislations that would push for a carbon tax and an “Energy Independent Vermont.”
  • Bank Teller in South Burlington, 2014-2016
  • Professional actor at Studio Matejka (Grotowski Institute) in Poland, 2014-2015
  • NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Voice Over Artist/Narrator, June 2011 for a NASA documentary titled “LOOP the Movie.”

His Facebook site contains three recent posts of interest: in November 2022, he wrote, “My hatred for this land I find myself in grows stronger everyday.” Earlier that year, he posted a photo of him holding a small revolver. 

Categories: Crime

23 replies »

  1. Yet more hatred, rage, & violence enacted on females by males. This time it appears to be one who perhaps fell prey to the left’s popular anti-women ideologies/policies that include the POTUS bestowing the “International Women of Courage” Award to a man & mainstream media’s vocal disdain against any women who dare fight the crazed left’s push to have males replace their spots on sport’s teams & usurp their rightful reward for athletic scholarships. Add to this the radical left’s deep contempt and chronic attacks on white people in general, and you have all of the ingredients for a toxic brew, which when consumed by young men and/or those who are easily led or taken by political propaganda or are struggling with mental health disorders inevitably wind up in disaster. Women are easier physical targets for embittered and mentally ill men to take out their rage on – this, in a week where we shouldn’t need to be reminded as the twisted Gilgo Beach Killer is arrested & jailed awaiting trial.

  2. Treating women as property and currency is a cultural norm in many parts of the world, including Congo. Perhaps that aspect of his homeland’s culture manifested in this man, even though he came here as a youngster. If he worked for Planned Parenthood and VPIRG, and harbored opinions such as: “My hatred for this land I find myself in grows stronger everyday”, it is probably safe to say that the leftist/marxist/anarchist/antifa ideology so prevalent in the Burlington area also played a part in defining his pathological renderings. The failure to adequately address his prior offenses and apparent psychological problems certainly narrowed any opportunity to intervene before they deteriorated into violence. We have our Chittenden County State’s Attorney and her woke enforcement/prosecution criteria to thank for that. Elections have consequences. Hoping that his victim Kelly Cusson may rest in peace and her family deal with their loss with some sense of understanding and comfort.

  3. He would have been better off not being so privileged and learning to deal with life the way most have to in the school of hard knocks!

  4. Why on earth was he still free to do what he did? Numerous pending cases, obvious mental health problems and nada. And he posted a pic with a gun while having mental health problems. Had this been handled properly a young woman would still be alive and her 3 young children would still have their mother. He just better stay locked up now!

    • Mumbere wrote, “My hatred for this land I find myself in grows stronger everyday.”
      I can hardly imagine how he feels about his home country.
      “Since 1996, conflict in eastern DRC has led to approximately six million deaths. The First Congo War (1996—1997), began in the wake of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, during which ethnic Hutu extremists killed an estimated one million minority ethnic Tutsis and non-extremist Hutus in Rwanda (DRC’s neighbor to the east). During and following the genocide, nearly two million Hutu refugees crossed the Congolese border, mostly settling in refugee camps in the North Kivu and South Kivu provinces. A small subset of those Rwandans who entered DRC were Hutu extremists who feared retribution or prosecution at home and began organizing militias within the Congo “

  5. So a young woman loses her life because a person with a record of offenses due to mental illness is allowed to roam the streets due to a backlog of paperwork. I smell a lawsuit from the Cusson family and rightly so. This is the result of the progressive stranglehold agenda on Burlington. What are the good people of Burlington thinking?

    • I doubt this had anything to do with a backlog. It had to do with the fact that he’s of a “protected” race & potentially prosecuting HIM instead of all the white “oppressors” in Vermont doesn’t fit their narrative.

  6. Perhaps when you work for an org that considers dismembering a baby limb by limb as a human right, you get a little skewed w your value of human life?

  7. Where are all these BLM student supporters now? You know, the students who claim high ideals (clever posters and Meme’s, flying the BLM flag, feeling morally superior, thinking their the smartest people on earth, etc., etc.) but have zero principles. They need a good poke in the chest to remind them it’s these violent results that we get from their narcissism and their cultural war they wage on all of us.

  8. Seriously, a current employee at Planned Parenthood? With mental health issues and criminal warrants? What in the world?

  9. Ladies, why you dating people who work in a place that literally cuts up live babies?

  10. Somewhere someone is saying ” He’s a good boy, a really good boy”

  11. Interesting, but not surprising, that no other media outlet has mentioned his employment at Planned Parenthood of Burlington…and yet how did a background check fail to raise red flags?

  12. Star student ,athlete, poet,,,,,, you left out rapist and murderer, allegedly.

  13. Yes, first or repeat offenders, ESPECIALLY sexual and child predators do not belong on the streets. That said, where do we put them while they await their right to a “speedy” trial (6th Amendment)? And then, where do we put them, including those deemed mentally competent when they are proven guilty? Hopefully, a Republican controlled Vermont legislature will fix all this and more. Tell me, how will they do this?

    Ummm, but not in my backyard, right?

    • Not in MY backyard, but let’s keep them in yours and in the otherwise lovely neighborhood where Sarah George resides. Coddling criminals and psychopaths just has never been my cup of tea. Thankfully though, your leftist policies has LEFT this murderer right in the clink – where he belonged all along.

  14. Who wrote his drivel ? They need another job. Why is it necessary to tell us how great this guy was ? He is accused of killing another human being ! He has expressed his hate for the America that greeted him with opportunity.

    Hey Planned Parenthood ! Are you still going to hold this man up as an outstanding human ? Pleas get a clue.

  15. You really can’t blame him. Systemic racism in Vermont is so bad. We should go light on the poor fellow.

  16. They are all connected folks – here’s your sign. Infiltration, not invasion. The USA (Langley and associates) have done nefarious deeds in Africa for decades. They brought their corrupted minions into the fold here. Is it any wonder why some African nations are no longer interested in any “help” from the USA NGOs, non-profits, and government? All that is hidden will be revealed – it is happening every day.

  17. He may have treated women with disrespect from Africa but he’s in our country now & he needs to follow our laws and rules.. if he can’t respect women here then he needs to go back to his previous country. I hope the Judge throws the book at this piece of trash!!!!