The Unfortunate True Story of Selena Quintanilla’s Death

who killed selena? image of selenas wax figure from madam tussands
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Last updated on August 3rd, 2023 at 09:16 am

Selena Quintanilla Perez was born on April 16, 1971, in Lake Jackson, Texas, before becoming a music idol. Because of the state’s proximity to Mexico, a distinct Mexican-American musical style known as Tejano arose, which Selena embraced from a young age.

Selena’s father, Abraham, a former singer, passed on what he knew to Selena and her two siblings, Abraham and Suzette. Selena y Los Dinos was formed, and music quickly became a family business.

Selena Quintanilla, the “undisputed queen of Tejano music,” was assassinated on March 31, 1995, by Yolanda Saldivar, who claimed to be her biggest fan. 

selenas memorial
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Who killed Selena Quintanilla Perez?

In 1995, Saldivar, a fan-turned-employee who was the manager of Selena’s stores and the head of her fan club, had a tragic meeting with Selena. Saldivar was separated from Selena’s family at the time due to financial difficulties at Selena’s boutiques, as well as complaints from fan club members.

Saldivar was meant to give Selena the last remaining business documents when they met at a Days Inn in Corpus Christi, Texas. Instead, she shot and killed the star, who was only 23 at the time.

Selena Quintanilla’s assassination stunned the world, especially because she was so young and on the verge of greatness. And, 25 years later, the account of Selena’s death is still as shocking.

Selena Quintanilla funeral

Selena’s funeral was held on April 3 in Corpus Christi, her hometown. The day before, the Bayfront Auditorium, which has since been renamed Selena Auditorium, hosted an open-casket viewing attended by up to 60,000 people. 

Her funeral was held at Seaside Memorial Park and was broadcast live on the radio. It was attended by around 600 people.

Family and thousands of admirers across Texas say their final farewell to 23-year-old Selena Quintanilla, a powerful and charming voice for Tejano music who was seen as an ambassador for her genre and culture.

Perez decided to keep his wife’s funeral and interment private due to the large number of people who attended her public viewing at the Bayfront Convention Center. Despite this, throngs of around 600 people assembled around the cemetery tents.

selena movie
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Selena Quintanilla’s death

Yolanda Saldivar shot and killed Selena on March 31, 1995. Selena’s close friend Saldivar was the founder and president of her fan club. Yolanda also managed Selena Etc, two boutique stores in Corpus Christi, and San Antonio, Texas.

According to news reports from Selena’s murder trial, Selena’s father Abraham Quintanilla Jr. received complaints about Yolanda’s bad management and inability to send items that paying fans had purchased. In the months leading up to her death; he learned Yolanda had stolen over $25,000 from Selena’s businesses.

Quintanilla Jr. contacted Yolanda and advised her to cease contact with Selena. On March 31, Selena followed Yolanda to the Days Inn motel in Corpus Christi, where she was staying. 

Saldivar allegedly took a revolver from her purse and shot Selena in the shoulder after the singer demanded proof that she didn’t embezzle the money. She was confirmed dead at the Corpus Christi Hospital.

Yolanda had a nine-hour standoff with police and FBI agents. She even threatened to take her own life. Specially trained negotiators eventually convinced her to give herself up.

Yolanda was apprehended, convicted, and sentenced to prison in October 1995, with the chance of parole in 2025.

What Happened to Yolanda Saldívar?

Yolanda went on trial in Houston for the assassination of Selena not long after the murder on October 15, 1995. According to The New York Times, her lawyer claimed that the gunshot was an accident. They went on to say that Yolanda intended to harm herself instead.

After testimonies from Selena’s family, Yolanda was sentenced to prison for first-degree murder on October 24, 1995.

Saldivar is currently incarcerated at the Mountain View Unit in Texas, a maximum-security prison. 

Written by Hope Davis

Long-time music lover Hope became a full-time writer in 2020 after being laid off from her regular job due to COVID-19. She now spends her time traveling the world to see her favorite bands while writing about them!


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