The world of Tejano music was rocked by the murder of singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez on March 31, 1995. And 22 years later, we still don’t know exactly why Yolanda Saldívar pulled the trigger.
Yolanda was a registered nurse who became the president of Selena’s San Antonio fan club and then the manager of her clothing boutiques. But the Quintanilla family realized the then 34-year-old was embezzling money, as Selena’s father, Abraham Quintanilla Jr., told The New York Times in 1995. Selena demanded that Yolanda hand over some of the boutique’s financial documents, so they agreed to meet at a Days Inn motel in Corpus Christi, TX. In the course of that meeting, Yolanda pulled out a gun and shot Selena. The singer died from a loss of blood in the hospital an hour later. She was 23 years old.
Yolanda was convicted of murder in the first-degree and was sentenced to life in prison, though her motive has never been definitively pinned down. A new report from Univision (via HuffPost Mexico) claims she killed Selena because she wanted to feign an assault, avoid jail time, and not pay back the $200,000 she had allegedly embezzled.
But the Reelz series Murder Made Me Famous paints a different picture in an episode that will air tonight. “Yolanda feels the target of her obsession slipping from her grasp,” the narrator says over a reenactment of Selena’s final moments. “If she can’t have Selena, no one can.”
Whatever her motive may have been, Yolanda will be eligible for release in 2025. She may not want to leave prison, though, given the hatred she faces in the outside world. In 2012, Yolanda’s brother told TMZ she’s in solitary confinement for her own safety, and two years later, Abraham Quintanilla Jr. told local news affiliate KIII-TV that Yolanda is likely safer in prison ”because not very many people like her.”