The Heartbreaking True Story of Selena Quintanilla’s Death
How the Tejano superstar died at the hands of her biggest fan, and how her legacy lives on.
Twenty-five years after she was murdered at simply 23 years outdated, the life and loss of life of Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla-Pérez continues to loom giant within the cultural creativeness. It’s not simply Selena’s unforgettable music that lives on past her, by way of tribute albums and concerts—it’s her sensational sense of favor, commemorated in limited version merchandise, with her ubiquitous picture reproduced in all places from t-shirts to cosmetics to the faces of Barbie dolls. So too does Selena reside on as an icon of multiculturalism, inspiring fans by way of her duality as a lady who straddled each Mexican and American cultures. With Netflix releasing Selena: The Sequence, a biopic sequence produced by members of Selena’s family, curiosity in how the late singer lived and died has spiked as soon as extra. The true story behind her loss of life is an unmitigated tragedy, with a talented younger star lower down in her prime.
Within the months before her loss of life, Selena was on the height of her career, laying the groundwork for her long-awaited crossover into the mainstream English market. With 4 studio albums and a Grammy for Best Mexican-American Album beneath her belt, she was within the strategy of recording her first English-language album, Dreaming of You, which would go on after her loss of life to set data for launch day album gross sales. She was additionally trying to broaden Selena Etc., her growing chain of Texas-based boutiques with in-house salons, where her signature line of clothes and jewellery were sold. The 2 existing Selena Etc. areas, based in Corpus Christi and San Antonio, were managed by 32-year-old Yolanda Saldívar, the president of the Selena fan club and a trusted confidante to Selena.
It was with Saldívar’s appointment as supervisor of the boutiques that all of it started to unravel. In accordance with Joe Nick Patoski, the biographer who wrote Selena: Como La Flor, Saldívar used the company American Express given to her by Selena to hire Lincoln city vehicles, entertain business associates at upscale restaurants, and buy two cell telephones for private use. Staff members on the boutiques felt that Saldívar was “good” when Selena dropped in, however merciless when she was away. Martin Gomez, a designer employed to supply Selena’s style line, said, “I advised Selena I used to be petrified of Yolanda. She wouldn’t let me discuss to Selena anymore. She was very possessive.” As discontent escalated, Staff reported to Selena that Saldívar was “two-faced and unstable,” however Selena took no motion. They then complained to her father and business supervisor, Abraham Quintanilla Jr., who warned his daughter that Saldívar may very well be harmful.
In early March 1995, Selena and her family were informed by boutique Staff that Saldívar was embezzling funds from the business, and that she had efficiently stolen over $60,000. In a heated confrontation with Selena, her father, and her sister, Suzette Quintanilla, Saldívar denied any wrongdoing, arguing that she was in possession of documents that may exonerate her, although she failed to supply them.
, although Selena insisted on holding Saldívar shut, as she was the keeper of the singer’s delicate monetary data. On March 25th, 1995, Selena advised her sister that she was planning to fireside Saldívar “quickly.”
On March 30, 1995, Saldívar phoned Selena to tell her that she was staying at a Days Inn Motel close to Corpus Christi International Airport; she encouraged Selena to go to her to gather the promised documents, and to come back alone. Selena arrived as a substitute with her husband, Chris Pérez, and Saldívar failed to supply the documents. The next morning, Selena returned to the Days Inn Motel alone, where she pressured Saldívar for the documents in a heated argument overheard by visitors in neighboring rooms. At 11:48 AM, Saldívar produced a .38 caliber handgun, firing it into Selena’s proper shoulder when the singer turned to flee. Critically wounded, a bleeding and crying Selena ran to the resort foyer, screaming, “Anyone assist me!” Saldívar adopted in scorching pursuit, screaming, “Bitch!”
Selena collapsed within the foyer, where, before she misplaced consciousness, she managed to call her assailant. When police arrived on the scene, they found Saldívar locked in her pick-up truck with the handgun pointed at her temple, crying, “I can’t imagine I killed my Best buddy.” She stored police at bay for almost ten hours in a wet stand-off before she was arrested. Meanwhile, Selena was rushed to Memorial Medical Middle, where docs found her clinically brain-dead upon arrival, owing to the severing of her subclavian artery. After almost an hour of failed makes an attempt to revive her, Selena was pronounced dead.
Saldívar pleaded not responsible to the crime, claiming the taking pictures was unintentional, however a jury convicted her of first diploma murder. She acquired the utmost sentence of life in jail, with no potential for parole till March 2025. On the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville, Texas, she spends 23 hours a day remoted in her 9 toes by six toes cell, where she is held with a view to shield her from loss of life threats levied by incarcerated Selena fans.
Selena’s murder sent shockwaves by way of the Tejano group, devastating her legions of fans in the USA and Mexico alike. All main U.S. tv networks interrupted their programming to broadcast the breaking news, whereas Texas newspapers sold out in file numbers. Maria Aguirre, a tv anchor who was then a receptionist at KQQK, a well-liked Tejano radio station in Houston, described how the switchboard was flooded with calls within the wake of Selena’s loss of life, with fans in disbelief that the news was true.
“It’s almost like the feeling when John Lennon died,” Aguirre said. “She was the queen of Tejano.”
At a public viewing of Selena’s casket, as many as 50,000 mourners converged on Corpus Christi’s Bayfront Plaza Conference Middle, touring from so far as California and Mexico to drape the casket with hundreds of white roses. On April 12, 1995, George W. Bush, then the governor of Texas, declared Selena’s birthday, April 16, as Selena Day within the state of Texas. Selena Day stays an off-the-cuff holiday celebrated by fans, although a invoice has been launched into the Texas legislature to codify it into a proper state holiday.
Twenty-five years later, the Quintanilla family continues to maintain Selena’s legacy alive. Suzette Quintanilla manages Q Productions, the leisure company and studio where Selena as soon as recorded music. In 2012, Pérez, who has since remarried and joined other bands, launched a memoir about his love story along with his late spouse, titled To Selena, With Love. Abraham Quintanilla Jr. and Selena’s mom, Marcela Quintanilla, based The Selena Basis, which aids kids in want and companions with native nonprofits to host occasions honoring Selena, like Fiesta de la Flor. Suzette Quintanilla and Abraham Quintanilla Jr. are listed as executive producers on Selena: The Sequence, with Netflix stating that the family is “fully concerned” within the sequence.
“When Selena handed away, I advised my family that I used to be going to attempt to hold her reminiscence alive by way of her music,” said Quintanilla Jr. in March 2020. “Twenty-five years later, I feel we, as a family, completed that.”