A Deep Dive Into Her Murder and The Fan Who Killed Her.
Selena Quintanilla was murdered at 23 years old by her friend and president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar.
Yolanda was short, chubby, and mousy and desperate for a purpose in life. Selena was her first and only friend. What on earth compelled her to kill the beloved star?
This episode also discusses the events of November 5th, 2021 at the Astroworld music festival in Houston, TX.
*This is not an exact transcript, but rather an outline of my notes.
Hello my loves! Thanks for joining me again. We’re gonna be talking about the Tejano music star, Selena Quintanilla.
Before we get into that, I want to talk about what happened this past Friday, November 5th, 2021 at the Astroworld music festival.
Astroworld was founded by Travis Scott (rapper, singer, music producer, father of Kylie Jenner’s children).
In 2019, tickets for the 2021 festival -- they sold out within 30 minutes of launching. In previous years, the festival was a one-day event, and this year’s was supposed to take place on November 5 and November 6.
Things got hectic pretty much at the very beginning. People started rushing a VIP entrance and things were getting knocked down, including people and metal detectors. There’s footage where you can see people like, stampeding, and a few of them stop to help the people who have fallen. One person was reportedly injured during this rush.
There were more than 50,000 people at this event. The place was absolutely packed, and people just kept pouring in. Shortly before Travis Scott was about to start his set, they played a giant timer on the big screen that started at 30 seconds and counted down until the start of the performance. At this point, the audience started to push forward as if everyone was trying to get to the front. People started shoving each other forward, and then people would push backwards. People reported feeling intense pressure against their backs and their chests, literally getting crushed, and when the crowd would push back, a lot of people would lose their balance. When Travis Scott started performing, things got more chaotic. The crowd continued to push and a lot of people were jumping up and down and dancing, and also moshing, causing more people to lose their balance and fall. While some people were falling on the floor, others were literally suffocating from the pressures of the crowd and started to pass out.
If you don’t know what moshing is, it’s better known among rock concerts. It’s kind of like dancing but it’s a lot of like, pushing each other in a crowd.. It’s hard to explain but it’s typically not as reckless as it sounds. I used to go to concerts as a teenager and sometimes you might get someone pushed into you or someone might spill a beer or something, but for the most part, I don’t ever think I’ve seen anything get dangerous or violent. Typically in a mosh pit, there’s a sort of etiquette where if someone falls, you pick them up. It’s like an unspoken rule. Well I didn’t know this, but moshing has apparently become a thing within the hiphop/rap community. From what I’ve read, it’s common at Travis Scott shows to see people moshing or “raging” at these shows.
His shows are known for being really high energy and he really tries to pump up the crowd.
So while all these people were falling on the floor, the crowd continued to push forward and trample the ones on the ground.
Some people reported falling down and then other people piling on top of them. Others recall going in and out of consciousness while getting pushed among the crowd. One person passed out and the audience actually crowd surfed her to safety. But for the most part, there were a lot of reports of people looking at the people who were passing out, and then just continuing to sing and dance along to the music.
Some people noticed that it was getting out of control before the performance even started, but it was too late and there was no way out.
Then people realized that some people were actually dying. There are reports of audience members going in and out of consciousness and hearing people crying and screaming for help with Travis Scott singing in the background.
Travis Scott didn’t realize what was happening for a while. During the short breaks between songs, people tried to shout at him to stop the show, they tried to shout at security guards and camera crew to make him stop and get them help. But it was entirely too loud and there were reportedly not enough staff in place.
Paramedics were there, but they couldn’t reach everyone in the audience. Medical professionals went around and tried to resuscitate people, and some audience members tried to help too. But there was not nearly enough help for the amount of people that needed it, and that help didn’t have access to treat all those people.
Travis Scott finally noticed the ambulance in the audience and stopped the performance.
There's a video of this moment, I’ll upload it to the website.
The event ended early and did not continue into November 6th.
Hundreds of people were injured, including a 10 year old child who is in critical condition. 13 people remain hospitalized, including 5 minors.
8 people died. Their ages ranged from 14 to 27.
Scott separately said he is "absolutely devastated by what took place last night" in a statement posted to Twitter.
"My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival," Scott's statement reads.
"Houston PD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life," it continues. "I am committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need. Thank you to Houston PD, Fire Department and NRG Park for their immediate response and support."
He has also vowed to issue refunds to the concertgoers and has decided to cancel his performance here in Las Vegas that’s scheduled for this Saturday the 13th, stating that he’s “too distraught to play”.
In 2018, Travis Scott pleaded guilty to a public disorder charge after he was accused of encouraging people to rush the stage at a concert in the US state of Arkansas.
According to a local newspaper, he also paid nearly $7,000 (£5,186) to two people who said they were injured at the 2018 event.
I don’t know about you guys, but this is so scary to me. And I mean I’m a singer and I sing for rock bands, of course I don’t wanna say “don’t go to concerts”. But man, people are ruthless. It’s like Black Friday, except the concert holders fully anticipated this amount of people and didn’t seem to take enough precautions to prevent this.
Especially since this isn’t the first time something like this has happened at a concert-- even at Astroworld. Just 2 years ago at the 2019 Astroworld event, 3 people were trampled and hospitalized as a result of a pushy crowd. Did they take any precautions to keep that from happening again? If they did, they weren’t effective.
And I’ll be honest, I don’t know a lot about Travis Scott, but I know there are a lot of people who blame him for this because he seems to have a history of riling up the crowd to the point of serious injuries occurring. So now people are questioning how this kind of thing can happen again at a Travis Scott concert, and each time there are more injuries.
In 2017, Travis Scott was arrested after he encouraged fans to bypass security and rush the stage. As a result, a security guard, a police officer, and several others were injured.
In a 2015 interview with GQ titled "How to Rage With Travis Scott," Scott said he wants his concerts to be like the WWF.
Saturday's concert schedule was canceled as a result of Friday's incident.
There have also been reports that someone in the audience may have been injecting people with drugs. A police officer was reaching for an audience member, and he was suddenly poked in the neck before he collapsed and lost consciousness. There are also reports that Narcan was administered to multiple people, which is typically used to revive people in instances of overdose.
All of this is still being investigated. They are reviewing all of the footage to find out if the venue had adequate exit routes and to figure out what exactly caused the surge.
It isn't the first time a dangerous situation has happened at one of Travis Scott's concerts.
In a 2015 interview with GQ titled "How to Rage With Travis Scott," Scott said he wants his concerts to be like the WWF.
That same year at Lollapalooza in Chicago, Scott was charged with disorderly conduct after, police say, he encouraged fans to jump barriers and rush the stage.
In 2017 during a concert in New York City, Scott had encouraged a fan on the second-floor balcony to jump down.
“I see you, but are you gonna do it?” the rapper said to the fan he neared the edge of the railing. “They gonna catch you. Don’t be scared. Don’t be scared!”
Then, Kyle Green, who was in the 3rd-floor balcony, was pushed off the balcony, leaving him partially paralized.
Kyle Green filed a lawsuit against Scott and other organizers of the event claiming that he was dragged off the floor by show staff “without a cervical collar, backboard, and other safety precautions," according to his lawyer, Howard Hershenhorn.
I don’t want to say that this is all Travis Scott’s fault. Of course, this kind of accident has happened multiple times in history. I mentioned before how at rock concerts I’ve been to, people tend to have etiquette. But that’s not to say that’s a rule. I mean it’s not like… It’s not fair to say “it’s the rap music’s fault.” No, that’s not accurate. I’m sure, like with any other music genre, there are people trying to have fun, responsibly, and there are people who just wanna rage and don’t care who they take down on the way. That goes for any group of people, really.
In 1979, there was a disaster at a concert for The Who at Cincinnati Riverfront Coliseum where the audience also rushed the venue and multiple people were trampled, costing the lives of 11 people.
This happened again in 2009 at the Mawazine musical festival: Rabat, Morocco, and at the Love Parade: Duisburg, Germany in 2010.
Another notable case of the audience causing a dangerous situation like this was in 1994 in Dallas, Texas, at a concert for Tejano music star, Selena Quintanilla.
With that said, let’s talk about Selena’s life, starting from the beginning. As I’m sure you know, there are lots of books and movies and stuff on this case. Of course there’s the 1997 film Selena starring Jennifer Lopez, that movie’s pretty awesome. Also, Netflix released a series about Selena in 2020. It’s really good, I highly recommend it. In fact, Selena’s sister Suzette was one of the writers and producers of that show, so I think you can feel good while watching it knowing that the story being told is accurate, and also includes cute little details that only the family or someone in the band would know.
With that being said, this story has been retold and retold in the media. So it’s very likely that a lot of people listening may already know a lot of details about this case. I worked really hard to find additional details that aren’t so commonly known. And, bitch, lemme tell you, that was not easy. But I think I did a pretty good job at filling in the gaps and I’m confident that this episode is going to bring you guys some new information about Selena’s death.
One of the things I really wanted to find out about (and I know some people are going to question me for this), but I really wanted to know more about Selena’s killer, Yolanda Saldivar. I know, I know. Some of you are probably going “nobody cares about Yolanda!” and I get that. Believe me. I’m not here to celebrate her, I never understand that. I’ll never be the type of person to like wear a tee shirt with a serial killer’s face on them, I think that’s distasteful af. But I’m super interested in criminal psychology, and one thing that was never really explained was whether or not Yolanda Saldivar had a history of violence or mental illness, or of stalking or idolizing celebrities. So I’m sorry if you don’t give a fuck about Yolanda, but I need to understand why this bitch did what she did and what compelled her to kill her “best and only friend”.
I’m in no way attempting to empathize with Yolanda Saldivar.
Selena Quintanilla was born on April 16th, 1971 to Marcella Samora and Abraham Quintanilla. Selena was the youngest of 3 kids-- she had an older sister, Suzette, and an older brother, Abraham (AB).
The family was Jehovah’s Witnesses, so they didn’t celebrate holidays like birthdays. Selena’s father, Abraham, had a band in his younger days called Los Dinos like in the 1950’s and 60’s. It didn’t do very well.
The band experienced racism and discrimination due to being of Mexican descent. A club owner, who thought the band was Italian, was surprised to learn that Los Dinos were Mexican Americans, and refused to pay them. Los Dinos were also turned down for motel rooms and other venues in predominantly white neighborhoods.
Los Dinos played music in English, and the crowd was disappointed to find out that they didn’t know a single song in Spanish. At one show, the crowd actually called them queers and chased them out of the venue, and the club owners had to refund the audience's money.
So Los Dinos kind of rebranded and shifted to playing Chicano rock music.
By 1967, Abraham and Marcella were getting ready to have their second child, Suzette, and Los Dinos’ popularity was really declining. So Abraham left the band.
Abraham started working full time and in 1970, Marcella went to the doctor and was told she had a tumor and it would have to be removed immediately. Before agreeing to surgery, they got a second opinion. It turned out she didn’t have a tumor, she was actually pregnant. They were told this baby was a boy, so they planned for a boy and named him Marc Antony. But on April 16th, 1971, Marcella gave birth to a baby girl who she then named Selena.
When Selena was 6, Abraham was giving her brother AB a guitar lesson when she walked in and started singing along. He instantly noticed her talent and was like “omg, she’s gifted.” He wasted no time and immediately started focusing on developing her into a singer.
Abraham got all his kids together and basically was like, “AB you’re on bass, Suzette, you’re on drums.” He called them “Selena & Los Dinos” and had a friend help him record some songs to get them started.
In 1979, Abraham opened up his own restaurant called PapaGayos, and he built a stage for his kids to perform. Following the recession of 1981, they were forced to close the restaurant.
This is when they relocated to Corpus Christi.
The band started taking any gig they could. They would perform at parties, at fairs, on street corners… Anything that would pay even just a little.
When Selena was in 8th grade, a teacher confronted her parents saying that she disapproved of Selena’s music career. Apparently numerous teachers were noticing that Selena was super tired at school, and the one teacher threatened to report them to the board of education. Abraham told her to mind her business, and withdrew her from school to be homeschooled. She earned her high school diploma at 17 years old.
The family had this refurbished bus that they called “Big Bertha” and they would travel from gig to gig in it, barely making enough money for food and often not making enough for gas.
Selena really wanted to sing songs in English, but Abraham insisted that she should sing songs from her heritage. And I can only imagine that this has something to do with his band being booed and chased offstage for not knowing any songs in Spanish.
As a Latina-American, I’ve been there. When your parents are like “everyone knows that you can speak English and nobody cares. Say something in Spanish because that’s impressive.” Interestingly, I just added Bidi Bidi Bom Bom to my repertoire because it’s true and I’m constantly being told that I should sing more in Spanish. (You can find that on my youtube channel)
Anyway, it’s like… He was probably thinking “you can sing in English later, once you’re known and loved. Right now, you need to blow their minds and get on their radar.” Recently someone actually told me, “you need to show your heritage because there are latinas out there who really need role models and when they see you up there, they know it’s possible for a latina to make it big.”
So I can kind of understand where Abraham’s coming from and this is probably one of those things that Selena and her siblings were like “my dad’s an old head and doesn’t know what’s cool” but he actually must’ve learned the hard way that playing “what’s cool” to them as kids, isn’t always going to make you stand out and furthermore, isn’t what the community needs. And I think this is one reason that Selena was so loved, she really touched her community. I mean of all the stars out there, how many Tejano musicians do you listen to? Probably none. So she really provided a sense of hope for this community and she legit united and I think Abraham saw that coming from early on.
Anyway, Selena learned to sing songs in Spanish and would eventually learn to speak it.
Selena was discovered by musician Rudy Trevino, founder of the Tejano Music Awards, where she won the Female Vocalist of the Year award in 1987 and for nine consecutive years after.
Interestingly, a lot of venues turned down the band because they were so young. And furthermore, everyone thought Selena was out of place because she was a woman, and Tejano music was very male dominated. In fact, there were no female Tejano singers other than Selena.
In 1989, Jose Behar of EMI Latin records saw the band perform at the Tejano Music Awards, and instantly wanted to sign Selena. He said she was going to be the next Gloria Estefan. They also wanted her to do a crossover album in English.
As the band’s success continued to climb, Chris Perez was asked to join the band. Chris was a guitarist who was pretty punk rock compared to the rest of the band. Abraham wasn’t very fond of him, he thought he was kind of a machista or a chauvinist. He also didn’t like his heavy metal vibe, and he made him cut his hair before joining the band.
In 1990, Chris and his buddies from his former band were staying at a hotel and got drunk and trashed it. Abraham was pissed and threatened to fire him. Fortunately, Selena’s brother, AB, urged him to reconsider since they had a tour coming up.
Chris actually had a girlfriend when he joined the band, but he and Selena started to develop romantic feelings for each other. He initially thought it would be best to keep a distance from Selena, but after that proved to be difficult, the two started dating secretly. They hid their relationship from everyone because they were afraid that Abraham would break them up.
Long story short, they weren’t able to hide it for long. First her siblings would walk in on them being all touchy or smoochy. Suzette straight up went and told Abraham on them! Abraham forbade them from being together.
But they continued to sneak around and eventually, Abraham would see them together.
Abraham lost his shit and basically told them that they weren’t allowed to see each other anymore, and if they disobeyed him, that would be the end of the band.
Selena was really, really hurt. The band was pretty much her whole life, she couldn’t have a boyfriend or do anything on her own really that wasn’t related to the band. Everything she did had a direct consequence to the band.
Plus, Selena and Chris were in love by this point. I mean, they tried to stay apart and they couldn’t. So Selena decided that she wanted to marry Chris and her father would just have to deal with it after the fact.
Selena and Chris snuck off to go elope in April 1992. They really, really wanted to keep this a secret and just something special between the two of them. Unfortunately, someone saw them at the courthouse and within like an hour, they heard on the radio about their secret wedding.
They were super scared about how Abraham was going to take it. He kind of isolated himself for a while. Apparently, he was afraid that Chris was a chauvinist and that he was going to use or mistreat Selena. Eventually he came around and apologized to Chris and accepted him back into the band.
On November 26th, 1994, Selena & Los Dinos performed a concert in Houston, TX. Selena was peaking at this point. Everyone fucking adored her. And at this particular concert, the crowd got a little out of control.
The audience started shoving each other, everyone trying to get closer to the stage and get a better view of Selena. The force of the crowd pushing forward was causing the stage to get weak and begin to collapse. Some people got pressed up right against the stage and almost even got pushed underneath it.
By the way, this was shown in the movie with Jennifer Lopez, it just happened a little differently. Chris Perez has stated that it was a lot scarier than it was portrayed (which.. It was portrayed pretty fucking scary).
I uploaded a clip showing this moment from the actual concert in 1994 (it's on brokenlimelight.com)
Selena started talking to the audience and tried to calm them down. She asked them to stop pushing. She was saying things like “everybody stay calm, we’re all here to have fun. You guys want to hear some music right? Ok let’s all settle down so we can keep going.”
The crowd just continued to push and shove. Finally you see Selena talking to Abraham and the band, and that’s when Selena and the band leaves the stage. Then Abraham and some other guys started pulling people from the audience onto the stage. Like, I think they were either getting crushed against each other or against or under the stage, so they started pulling people on the stage, who then exited the stage.
It’s a hectic scene, I really recommend that you go on the website and check out that clip.
This same year (1994) was the year that Selena began designing and manufacturing a line of clothing; she opened two boutiques called Selena Etc., one in Corpus Christi and the other in San Antonio. Both were equipped with in-house beauty salons. By the end of 1994, Selena Etc. had held two fashion shows to showcase their clothing line. Selena (alongside her band, Selena y Los Dinos) held a concert after Selena Etc.'s second fashion show on December 3, 1994, at the Hemisfair Arena in San Antonio. She was in negotiations to open more stores in Monterrey, Mexico, and Puerto Rico
At this time, Selena had hired a personal assistant named Yolanda Saldivar, who would become the manager of Selena’s boutiques in Corpus Christi and San Antonio.
Now, let’s talk about Yolanda Saldivar a bit.
Yolanda Saldivar was originally a registered nurse who would become the president of Selena’s fan club. You may be surprised to find out that Yolanda wasn’t actually a violent, angry kind of person.
Yolanda Saldivar was born to Juana & Frank Saldivar in 1960. She was the youngest of 8 kids, and while her parents doted on her, she was kind of the runt of the family.
Her father had a decent job as head waiter of a restaurant, but his income was pretty low for having to support a family of 10.
Because of their financial struggles, the family moved a lot, always looking for deals on rent. As a result, the kids changed schools a lot. Yolanda went to 3 different elementary schools and multiple different middle and high schools.
Yolanda was really short and chubby, and she was also introverted and spoke with a very soft, mousey voice. She got teased a lot by her peers and had a really hard time making friends.
This was especially hard when she kept switching schools. With every new school, she retreated into herself more and more.
They call this “fear of peer rejection” and according to psychologists, this can create extreme withdrawal and loneliness and result in major issues into adulthood.
So Yolanda grew more and more isolated over the years, never making any real friends. By high school, she was only 5ft tall and overweight, she felt completely invisible…. Except when she was being bullied. She had really, really low self esteem. And while she always longed for friendship, she was really awkward and always embarrassed and just felt more and more humiliated the more she tried.
In 1979 when Yolanda was 18, she enrolled at the community college and started the path to becoming a registered nurse.
Unfortunately, Yolanda wouldn’t be able to focus on her school work enough to finish the program in the normal amount of time. One of her brothers got into legal trouble and he had 3 kids who Yolanda couldn’t bear to let anything happen to. So she took them in and became their legal guardian.
Yolanda adored these kids, but she was not financially prepared to take care of them. She got a job in a dermatologist’s office to help provide for them.
She was so busy at work though, that her schoolwork suffered. And because she was trying so hard to fit her schoolwork in, she wasn’t able to shine in her job either. So she was in constant self-doubt, feeling like she was never enough. She really, really just needed some extra money to level her out.
Yolanda had access to the business accounts at her job, and she couldn’t stop thinking about that. One day in 1983, her boss finally noticed that $9,200 were missing. He sued Yolanda, and she was able to settle out of court (but of course lost her job).
She then transferred to the University of Texas. In 1990 at 29 years old, she finally got her nursing degree after 10 years.
She started working 2 separate jobs-- one in the day at a hospice with terminally ill cancer patients, and one working the evening shift at a hospital. She was a very, very dedicated and hard worker.
She got along with her coworkers just fine, but nobody would ever invite her out for drinks or to hang out after work with the rest of them. Yolanda continued to struggle with feelings that she’s not enough. Admittedly, Yolanda never tried to connect with her coworkers either, I imagine out of fear of rejection.
So Yolanda spent all of her free time hanging out with her nieces and nephews.
One day, her niece begged her to take her to a Selena concert. Yolanda was hesitant. She actually didn’t want to go. She also was kind of like “who’s this woman trying to sing Tejano music? That’s for men”. But Yolanda hated to disappoint people, so she obliged.
But as soon as 19 year old Selena got on stage, Yolanda’s attitude changed. She was mesmerized. Selena was absolutely sensational and like, the complete polar opposite of Yolanda. It’s believed that at this moment, Yolanda had found something to finally be happy about. She was tired of focusing on her own mundane existence, and instead, she was now going to fixate on beautiful, spectacular Selena. Yolanda couldn’t look away.
After the concert, Yolanda went to the lobby to buy merchandise, but when she got there, there was no Selena merch for sale. Yolanda was shocked because, what a lost opportunity. I mean every musician has merch and even if the musician’s team doesn’t sell it themselves, there’s usually a fan club that sells merch for them. But Yolanda looked and there was seemingly nobody out there selling Selena merch, and no existing fan club.
As she was standing in the lobby, she got an idea. If she started a Selena fan club, she could meet Selena and maybe even be a part of her life.
Once the idea was in her mind, there was no getting rid of it. Yolanda was determined and she pounced on Suzette when she saw her. She pitched her idea of a fan club and Suzette heard her out, but ultimately, all those decisions were left up to Abraham.
Suzette gave her his number and, according to Yolanda, she called him 3 times before he agreed to meet with her. According to Abraham, she actually called him 15 times. Either way, she eventually was able to meet with him. Shockingly, Abraham thought she was cool. Abraham normally didn’t trust anyone outside of the family with business stuff, but something about her just seemed trustworthy.
According to Chris Perez, he thinks it was her appearance. She was just so utterly non-threatening, and she wasn’t like a hyped up teenager who just wanted to be close to the spotlight. Yolanda was like this humble little lady who seemed to be a legitimate fan.
So Abraham agreed, and Yolanda became the president of the new Selena fan club. Yolanda had a new purpose in life.
Running the fan club was pretty easy. Yolanda was responsible for sending out a newsletter with Selena’s tour dates, and anyone who sent in a $22 membership fee would also receive merchandise. Yolanda threw herself into the fan club and hoped and hoped she would get to meet Selena.
After 6 months, her hard work paid off and she finally got to meet Selena in December 1991. This was like pure bliss for Yolanda. Selena was even more dazzling in person and Yolanda became obsessed.
Selena really liked Yolanda and started to really trust her. She started giving her more personal responsibilities like asking her to chauffeur her around town, and even started inviting Yolanda to hang out with her like at the mall, or they would go get mani-pedis together.
By the way, Yolanda looks to be a lot older than Selena, like she looks almost like she tries to be kind of a mother figure. But truthfully, she wasn’t that much older than Selena. They were only about 10-11 years apart. When Selena died, she was 23 and Yolanda was 34. I’m about 31 and I don’t think I’m old enough to see myself as a mother figure to a 20 year old. I just think it’s interesting because they were
Selena and Yolanda were actual friends now. Yolanda’s family says that Selena would also go to their house and visit and that she was always very kind and humble. Selena trusted Yolanda, she was her confidant.
Now for Yolanda, this is the first time ever that she has a real friend. She’s never had anything close to this kind of friendship. And this wasn’t just any old friend, this was fucking Selena. She was glamorous and the entire world loved her and Yolanda, in her head she’s like “what on earth is she doing with frumpy little me?” She couldn’t believe that Selena would give her the time of day.
Yolanda had this deep rooted fear that Selena would figure her out to be this lame ass nobody, and eventually dump her. She really started to worry, and she was determined to keep that from happening. She would do whatever it took to stay on Selena’s good side.
So in 1993 when Selena asked her to be her personal assistant, she jumped at the chance. Yolanda quit both of her jobs and moved out to Corpus Christi to invest herself fully into being a part of Selena’s inner circle.
It didn’t matter that it took her an entire decade for her to get her degrees. Her nursing career didn’t come close to the glamour of being Selena’s personal assistant.
Yolanda threw herself into her work. It seems to me that she has really, really good work ethic, and maybe that’s just because she’s longing for some kind of acknowledgement, for anyone to notice her and tell her “hey, good job.”
So she was seemingly a fantastic assistant to Selena. The fan club had thousands of members so Abraham was thrilled. The whole family really took Yolanda in and started inviting her to private gatherings. When Selena’s sister Suzette got married, Yolanda was actually in her bridal party. She was like part of the family.
Now that Yolanda had relocated to Corpus Christi, her whole life became about Selena. Literally. Not only did she leave her whole career and life to move to be closer to Selena and be her assistant, but she also filled her apartment with photos of Selena. I’m talking pictures all over the wall, Selena merch everywhere, there was even a life-size cardboard cut-out of Selena. Basically, her apartment was a shrine.
It’s said that these are signs that Yolanda had Celebrity Worship Syndrome.
According to psychologists, people with this are more prone to fantasies and dissociation from reality, and are more likely to engage in stalking.
Yolanda was not aware of any problem. She wasn’t a deranged fan, she was just Selena’s closest friend.
And that may have been true. But Yolanda’s perspective of this friendship was getting really twisted. She was always around Selena. Like if you look at pictures of Selena at events, a lot of times you can see Yolanda standing right in front of her or right behind her, lingering. If anyone wanted to talk to Selena, they had to go through Yolanda first.
And as Selena’s success increased, Yolanda became more and more worried that she was going to lose Selena, or that Selena would ditch her for someone more interesting.
If Selena gave anyone else attention, Yolanda instantly felt threatened. So Yolanda used her position to kind of build a wall between Selena and anyone who wanted to get close to her.
In her head, she was just protecting the friendship.
With Selena getting busier and busier, she didn’t see how controlling Yolanda was becoming. In fact, in her eyes, things were going so well that Selena decided to open up her own boutique, and there was only person she trusted to oversee the day to day activities-- Yolanda.
Yolanda, now 33, was promoted to manager. When she opened up her second location in San Antonio, she asked Yolanda to oversee that location as well. With this new promotion, Yolanda was given a raise, her own credit card, and her own cell phone, to use for business purposes.
Selena felt so confident about this decision, she actually told her husband “if I can’t be there for any reason, I feel better knowing that Yolanda will be there to take care of it.”
But Yolanda actually had no business experience and was in way over her head. She wouldn't admit it, but she had no idea what she was doing.
Yolanda instantly had some tension with Selena’s fashion designer, Martin Gomez. They didn’t like each other from the get-go. Yolanda was seemingly feeling threatened by Martin and his seamstresses, and she would yell at them and boss them around, she would gaslight the employees about events that never happened, and she would fire anyone who disagreed with her.
Martin thought that Yolanda was manipulative and controlling. He also claims that she ruined some of his designs. He said that he would finish up a dress and he would be certain it was finished, and then the next day, he would find that the seams had been ripped out.
He eventually warned Selena about Yolanda and told her that the employees were threatening to quit, and that he would be the next to quit himself.
Selena really couldn’t believe it though. Yolanda was her friend and confidant and it just didn’t make any sense. She was sure that there must’ve been some understanding.
When Yolanda found out that Martin went to Selena to complain, she was livid. She started secretly recording her conversations with Martin and trying to get him to say something incriminating, so she could bring it to Selena.
She never ended up using these tapes though. Martin actually ended up refusing to work there while Yolanda was in charge and demanding that Selena buy him out of his contract. Selena agreed. Yolanda got what she wanted.
Before Martin left, he warned Selena, saying “it’s just weird how she tries to get in between you and everybody else. She’s obsessed with you and I’m a little scared of you.”
Yolanda’s obsession intensified. Her need for Selena’s attention became all consuming, and Yolanda even tried to drive a wedge between Selena and her husband, Chris Perez.
The band had an annual party for their friends and family, and Yolanda like kept an eye on Selena and Chris all night. She watched them move from group to group, chatting away, and when they finally separated for a minute, Yolanda took her chance. She pulled Selena aside and told her that Chris vandalized the restaurant bathroom. This was not true, she was just trying to start a fight. But this wasn’t the first time Chris did something like this; it was just a year earlier that Chris got drunk and trashed a hotel room. So Selena confronted Chris and asked him if he vandalized the bathroom. Chris was like “I’ve literally been next to you all night except for this one brief moment. How could I have vandalized the bathroom?”
So Selena was like “mmkay” and she and Chris went back to the party.
Yolanda was pissed. She could not believe that Selena would trust Chris over her. She worried that if Chris turned against her, he would be able to convince Selena to do the same, and she could not let that happen. So she had to find another way to remain Selena’s #1.
By this point, Yolanda had been in Selena’s life for 3 years. 3 years ago, Yolanda had an entirely different life-- she was working 2 jobs as a nurse, had no money, no friends. Now she was best friends with a super star, managing two boutiques. And Yolanda held onto it with dear life. The more she gained, the more paranoid she became about losing it all.
She could not allow anyone to risk ruining her relationship with Selena, so she fired anyone who might badmouth her.
She tried to sabotage her marriage and all the while, she pretended to be a great friend.
People tried to warn Selena and there were rumors about Yolanda going around, but it seems like Selena was in denial. Yolanda had been her friend and a trusted business advisor for 3 years. So whenever she heard things, she just brushed them off.
In September of 1994, Selena met Ricardo Martinez, a doctor who lived in Monterrey, Mexico. Selena wanted to expand the number of boutiques by opening a Selena Etc. store in Monterrey. Martinez said that he had contacts in Mexico who could help Selena grow her business. He was also a plastic surgeon and allegedly, she went to him for liposuction. Depending on the source, it’s unclear whether she actually got lipo or if maybe she was just consulting with him about it. She was only 22 and didn’t seem to need lipo.
Anyway, Ricardo Martinez became a business adviser to Selena even though her family said he was simply a fan who posed in several pictures with her. This guy will become more important in the story later on.
Selena asked Yolanda to help, because she actually wasn’t fluent in Spanish but Yolanda was, so she asked Yolanda to travel with her to business meetings and stuff to help translate.
Yolanda seems like she really needed to feel wanted and needed. I think that might be another reason she worked so hard at all of her jobs; it’s like nobody ever noticed her and maybe she was just looking to be acknowledged for something.
She needed constant validation that she was #1 in Selena’s eyes. So she would like test her. Whenever Selena was in San Antonio, Yolanda would try to go everywhere with her. If she couldn’t manage to tag along, she would call Selena at all hours and insist that they needed to leave for Mexico right away for a business meeting or something.
If Selena turned her down, Yolanda would get mad.
Yolanda realized that this wasn’t working, so she started being all sweet and mousey to Selena again. She got her a fancy ass gift, a gold ring with diamonds and an “S” engraved in it 3 times. Selena loved it. But as it turns out, Yolanda actually charged the ring to Selena’s corporate business account. So Selena paid for it herself. It was like a $3,000 ring.
By this time, Yolanda had fired pretty much half of the staff. Those that were left started to confront Abraham about her shitty management and her firing everyone left and right. And not only that, but the business’ paperwork didn’t make sense. There was money missing and charges unaccounted for. And then, Abraham started getting complaints from members of the fan club who weren’t receiving the promised merch.
Abraham started digging into the paperwork and what he found shocked him. Yolanda had embezzled thousands of dollars from Selena.
In 03/95, Abraham, Selena, & Suzette had a meeting with Yolanda. Yolanda didn’t know what it was about, but Abraham came right out with it. He demanded answers.
Yolanda just said, all mousey, “I don’t know”.
Every question they asked, she would just repeat “I don’t know”. Abraham fired her and threatened to sue her.
Suzette screamed at her and called her a liar and a thief.
Yolanda just kept looking at Selena, only caring about what she thought. Selena just looked at her, disappointed.
Yolanda lost everything. Everything she was afraid of was coming through. She was going to have to go live with her parents again and become the nobody from her past.
She was determined to fix this. The next day, she went back to Q Productions, which is the company Abraham built, and she was immediately kicked off the premises.
On March 10, 1995, Selena removed Yolanda's name from the boutique's bank account and Yolanda was replaced as fan club president by Irene Herrera.
Since she couldn’t get to Selena, Yolanda then stole the company’s financial records and disappeared. It wasn’t long before Selena came looking for her.
3/11/95, she went to a gun shop. She confidently went to the counter and asked for help. She told the employee that she was a private home nurse and needed protection from a patient’s family who threatened her. He gladly helped her pick out a firearm and complete her paperwork, and told her to come back 3 days later after the background check.
Meanwhile, the Quintanilla’s tried calling her but she refused to answer.
According to Quintanilla, Jr., there were four attempts to murder Selena.
3/13/95, Yolanda drove to Corpus Christi and checked into the Sand and Sea Motel. At the time, Selena was in Miami, Florida. Quintanilla, Jr., believed this would have been the first attempt to kill Selena.
After 3 days, she went and picked up the gun. She then called Selena and agreed to meet her in the parking lot of a restaurant. She got into Selena’s car, excited to see her. But Selena was colder than she anticipated. She demanded the records. Yolanda gave her some of the documents, but held on to a few of the important ones.
Yolanda then told Selena that she took the documents out of fear for her own safety, saying that Abraham had been calling her in a threatening manner.
She said “maybe I should work something else. This is too much for me.”
But it’s believed that she was just hoping that Selena would say “no, I need you.”
Selena needed the business records, so she told Yolanda that she needed her for the business in Mexico. Selena told Yolanda she could remain in charge of her business affairs in Mexico.
Honestly that’s probably the only reason she didn’t kill Selena right then.
Yolanda lit up. She then said “do you want to see something?” She reached into her handbag and pulled out the gun, and told her that she got it for protection.
Selena freaked out, and told her to return it. And she did. She returned it the next day. Now that things were cool with Selena, she didn’t need the gun.
But over the next couple of weeks, Yolanda started to really analyze that conversation and doubt if Selena meant what she said about still needing her.
3/26 Yolanda stole bank statements and a perfume sample from one of the boutiques.
Yolanda went back to the gun store on 3/27/95 and re-purchased the same gun she had just returned.
She asked Selena to meet her alone at a motel room; this was her second attempt to kill Selena. The news of Selena's arrival spread and she was soon mobbed by fans. Quintanilla, Jr., believed her fans saved her that day; there were "too many witnesses".
According to him, the third attempt to kill Selena was during Saldívar's trip to Monterrey in the last week of March. Dr. Martinez received telephone calls from Saldívar crying hysterically and saying she had been raped on March 29, 1995.
The next day, Yolanda again called Dr. Martinez, who said the calls sounded as though someone was trying to snatch the telephone away from her. He sent an employee to Yolanda's motel room to investigate, but the employee found she had left a few minutes earlier.
On March 30, 1995, Yolanda returned from her Monterrey trip and checked into a Days Inn motel. She contacted Selena and told her that she had been raped. According to Quintanilla, Jr., this was the last message that they received from Yolanda; he believed this claim was her new alibi.
Yolanda asked Selena to visit her at her motel room alone, however, Perez accompanied her. According to Perez, he waited by his truck as Selena went alone to Saldívar's motel room.
3/30/1995 she asked Selena to meet her at a hotel. Selena agreed. She went to the motel to Yolanda’s room, room 158 and asked for the documents. Yolanda broke down in tears and told her that she had been sexually assaulted in Mexico that morning. She showed her clothes that she had ripped up, that she said she was wearing when she was raped.
Selena offered to take her to the hospital, but Yolanda didn’t want to go. Selena seemed skeptical and left, which made Yolanda panic.
As Perez was driving back to their house, Selena noticed Yolanda had failed to give her the correct bank statements she needed. Yolanda tried contacting Selena through her pager; she changed her mind and now desperately wanted Selena to take her to a hospital that night. She told Selena she was bleeding due to her rape.
Quintanilla, Jr., believed Yolanda was trying to get Selena to return to the motel alone. Pérez told Selena it was "too late" and didn't want her to go out alone. Unbeknownst to Pérez, Selena agreed to meet Yolanda the next morning.
That same day, Selena contacted Leonard Wong about the perfume samples he had made for her. According to Wong, she told him she would be meeting Yolanda the next morning to pick up the samples that had been stolen from her. She told another employee at the boutique she was expecting to fire Yolanda.
Selena picked her up and took her to the hospital. There, they examined Yolanda and found no evidence of an assault. At this point, Selena was convinced that this whole story was made up.
Selena took her to Doctors Regional Hospital where medical staff noticed Yolanda showed symptoms of depression. Yolanda told a doctor she had bled "a little". The doctor noticed that Selena was angry at Yolanda and told her that Yolanda said she had been bleeding copiously the day before.
While driving back to the motel, Selena told Yolanda it would be best if they stayed apart for a while to avoid upsetting Quintanilla, Jr.,. According to Dr. Martinez, Selena attempted to contact him that morning, but he couldn't speak on the telephone because he was performing surgery.
At 10:00 a.m., Quintanilla, Jr., contacted Pérez to determine where Selena was; Selena was supposed to record a song at Q-Productions that morning and she had not arrived. Pérez called Selena on her cell phone and reminded her of the scheduled recording.
Selena told him she had forgotten the session and that she was "taking care of one last [item of] business" and would be at Q-Productions soon after. This was the last telephone call that Selena answered and was the last time Pérez heard her voice.
The two went back to the motel, where Selena demanded her financial documents. Yolanda, again, gave her some papers but not all of them. Selena, desperate to find her documents, grabbed Yolanda’s bag and dumped out its contents. Among those contents was the gun. The gun just fell out of the purse. They both stared at it for a moment, before Yolanda lunged for it. Selena froze.
What happens next has been heavily debated over the last 26 years.
According to Yolanda, she grabbed the gun and initially put the gun to her own head. (of course, all we have to go off of is Yolanda’s account of this). She was desperate. If Selena wouldn’t take her back, she was going to be the one to sever the relationship.
She says that she told Selena that she was done working for her, but Selena insisted that she needed her for her boutique. Yolanda refused and told Selena to leave right then or she would shoot herself.
According to Yolanda, Selena went to shut the door so they could talk, but Yolanda gestured for her to leave it open, and at that moment, the gun accidentally went off.
Most people don’t believe a word Yolanda says. What a lot of people believe is that Selena didn’t go to shut the door, she was just getting ready to walk out and leave for good. Then Yolanda snapped and shot her.
Nobody knows exactly what happened except Yolanda and Selena. And Yolanda’s a fucking liar.
What we do know is that Yolanda shot Selena in the back/ lower right shoulder, severing an artery and causing a massive loss of blood. The bullet went through her chest and splattered blood all over the motel wall.
Selena stumbled her way through the hotel and Yolanda just watched.
Remember, Yolanda is a trained nurse. And she’s just standing there, watching Selena bleed out and struggle to get help.
She was seen clutching her chest screaming, "Help me! Help me! I've been shot!"
Yolanda was still chasing after Selena, pointing the gun at her and calling her a "bitch". According to Carlos Morales (who was waiting outside the motel), he heard screaming and saw Selena running towards him. She grabbed Morales and screamed, "they'll shoot me again".
Yolanda went back to the motel room and got her belongings. With her belongings and her gun still in hand, she walked out to her car.
Selena made it to the hotel lobby. She crashed into the door, which she had to push through and took all of her strength. She was able to get through, and she instantly collapsed. The motel receptionist recognized her right away and saw the blood. She ran to her side, and Selena said “Yolanda, 158” and then she passed out. Her fist had been clenched and it had now fallen weak and revealed that she was clutching the ring that Yolanda gave her.
At some point during all of this, Selena managed to take off her ring.
The blood trail from the scene of the shooting to where Selena collapsed was 392 feet long.
The receptionist called 911 while looking up who was in room 158. She told the 911 operator it was Yolanda Saldivar who shot Selena.
People from the hotel staff tried to stop the flow of blood. Selena's condition began to deteriorate rapidly as motel staff attended to her.
Selena screamed at the staff, telling them, "lock the door, she'll shoot me again". DeLeon tried to talk to Selena, but he noticed that she was beginning to lose consciousness; he said Selena was moaning and moving less often. DeLeon noticed Selena's eyes had rolled back and that she went limp.
The ambulance arrived just 2 minutes later.
Selena's heartbeat was now very slow; a paramedic performed CPR to keep her blood circulating. Paramedic Richard Fredrickson said "it was too late" when he arrived in the lobby. He found a "thick [pool of blood] from her neck to her knees, all the way around on both sides [of her body]". Fredrickson could not locate a pulse; when he placed his fingers on Selena's neck, he felt only muscle twitches.
A paramedic tried inserting an intravenous needle into Selena, but her veins had collapsed because of the massive blood loss and low (or no) blood pressure, making the insertion extremely difficult. They rushed her to the hospital.
Yolanda saw the ambulance pull up just as she was getting into her car, and right behind it were police cars.
They blocked off all the exits. She was trapped.
I know there’s no use in trying to understand this woman, but I can only imagine that in this moment, she HAD to have been like “what have I done”.
So now she gets into her truck and she’s just like “what the fuck do I do now”. She pretty much has no reason to live anymore. Her life is beyond over now.
Motel employee Rosario Garza saw her leave her room with a wrapped towel. It was later thought that Yolanda was going to Q-Productions to shoot Quintanilla, Jr., and others who were waiting for Selena.
She’s staring at her gun when all of a sudden, a police officer approaches her car. He drew his gun and ordered her out of the truck, but Yolanda did not comply. She backed up and parked adjacent to two cars. Her truck was blocked in by the police vehicle. Yolanda picked up the pistol, pointed it at her right temple and threatened to commit suicide.
He put his hands in the air and started backing away from her car.
They set up a perimeter a distance from her truck. The lead officer, Larry Young, didn’t want to spook her and cause her to kill herself. So he called her cell phone.
She answered the phone completely hysterical, saying she didn’t want to live anymore. He tried everything to get her not to kill herself. And she was freaking out, sobbing.
When paramedics delivered Selena to Corpus Christi Memorial Hospital at 12:00 p.m., Selena's pupils were fixed & dilated, there was no evidence of neurological function and she had no vital signs.
Doctors were able to establish an "erratic heartbeat" long enough to transfer Selena to the trauma room. Doctors began blood transfusions in an attempt to re-establish blood circulation after opening Selena's chest and finding massive internal bleeding. Her right lung was damaged, her collarbone was shattered and her veins were emptied of blood.
They administered drugs into her heart and applied pressure to her wounds. Dr. Louis Elkins said a "pencil-size artery leading from the heart had been cut in two by the hollow-point bullet" and that six units of blood from the transfusion had spilled out from Selena's circulatory system.
After 50 minutes, the doctors determined that the damage was irreparable. At 1:05 p.m., Selena was pronounced dead from blood loss and cardiac arrest.
Selena 's religious beliefs became an issue shortly before she died, when physicians at Memorial Medical Center gave her blood transfusions. Her father was horrified.
" Selena would not have wanted that," said Quintanilla, who 25 years ago embraced the faith of Jehovah's Witnesses but hasn't been active for more than a decade.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that God alone is the source of life-giving blood, and that humans should not intervene when blood is shed.
Selena had recently begun to study the Bible, her father said. She had not become a Jehovah's Witness, yet.
So Selena never discussed religion in public, even while studying to become a Bible-believing Jehovah's Witness, her father said.
Larry Young tried everything. He offered to let her see her family. Nothing was working, she wouldn’t get out of the truck. This went on for hours.
She told police that Abraham as actually to blame for everything. She said that he had been threatening her and she got the gun to protect herself from him, and that Selena put her up in the motel to protect her from him. It didn't make sense but officer Young let her get it all out.
While on the phone, Yolanda heard Larry’s radio through the phone. What she heard was a news broadcast announcing that Selena didn’t make it.
They hadn’t told her yet. Up until this point, Yolanda was holding onto hope that there was still some chance of reconciling with Selena. Larry tried to act like he didn’t know about it or maybe it was just a rumor. But she knew. When she heard that, she lost it. She started crying out that she killed the only friend she ever had in her entire life.
After 6 hours of this standoff, Yolanda agreed to give herself up, but when she saw a police officer pointing a rifle at her, she panicked, ran back to her truck, picked up the revolver and pointed it at her head again.
After 9 hours at about 9pm, he finally convinced her to surrender. He promised to shield her face from the cameras. But when she got out of the car, she panicked and went back to her truck.
It took another half hour of coaxing before she finally came out.
At 9:30PM on 3/31/95, Yolanda finally left her truck and surrendered. Officer Young shielded her face, like he promised, as he escorted her to a cop car.
Yolanda was interrogated by a detective that evening. She supposedly asked for a lawyer but was not given one. She says that the detective refused her food, water, and use of a restroom. She was starving and exhausted since it had been 11 hours since the beginning of the standoff. She then confessed to deliberately killing Selena, before signing a written confession swearing to the truth of her statement.
Yolanda then saw her father for a few minutes before she was taken to her jail cell.
Yolanda retained Douglas Tinker as her lawyer. He was known for winning really difficult cases, and he was determined to get her acquitted.
The opposing counsel was DA Carlos Valdez was a neighbor of the Quintanillas. This was also election year. So he kind of felt like he had to deliver justice to Selena.
The news of Selena's death deeply affected the Hispanic community; many people traveled thousands of miles to visit Selena's house, boutiques and the crime scene.
More than 60,000 fans went to Corpus Christi, Texas, to mourn her death. A fence around the home was quickly turned into a shrine with many messages from her fans.
Selena’s fans wanted Yolanda to get the maximum punishment, even a death sentence, which isn’t applicable in this case. But Texans didn’t care, they were pissed at Yolanda.
In August 95, Yolanda’s preliminary hearing began. The prosecution claimed that Yolanda was so enraged by the accusations of embezzlement, that she killed Selena in revenge.
Then the defense spoke. People figured they’d claim insanity, since she signed a sworn confession. But her attorney actually promised to prove it was an accident.
Tinker made a motion to suppress the confession on grounds that it was obtained illegally. This wasn’t such a leap, since she didn’t have a lawyer present so nobody really knows what happened before she signed the confession.
The detective's notes from the interrogation also disappeared. He claimed he threw them away after getting her confession.
Tinker brought in another officer who testified that he heard Yolanda say “it was an accident” during the interrogation, but the detective chose not to include that in his notes because he didn’t believe her.
This is one of those things that’s like, dude I know you tried to hep yourself but it’s just going to fuck everyone in the end.
He filed for a change of venue, because there was no way Yolanda could get a fair trial in Selena’s hometown. People already decided she was guilty. So they moved the venue to Houston, but the confession would stand as evidence.
Yolanda spent 6 months in jail before her trial. She became increasingly depressed, refusing to eat and lost 50 lbs. She made up a story about having breast cancer, which wasn’t true. It was like she wanted the public to feel sorry for her. When it was revealed that she didn’t actually have cancer, she appeared controlling and manipulative.
When it was time for Yolanda to enter her plea, everyone listened carefully. She got up and swore “not guilty”.
10/23/95 less than 3 hours after closing remarks, jury reached a decision. Yolanda hyperventilated while she waited. The judge read the verdict: Guilty of first degree murder.
She sobbed. Her parents broke down in sobs. The Quintanilla family barely showed any emotion as they left through side doors.
Outside of the court, traffic came to a stop as a street festival suddenly erupted. Selena’s music was bumping and people were dancing.
Yolanda still had to be sentenced. But she could hear the celebrations outside and she knew people were going to want her to suffer.
The jury took a couple days to decide on her sentence. Ultimately on 10/25/95, she was sentenced to life in prison.
Less than 2 weeks later, she agreed to her first interview- 11/02/95 Maria Araras. In this interview, she said something that she hadn’t said before. Yolanda claims that Selena told her a secret and that Yolanda was determined to take it to her grave. There’s never been any mention of a secret ever before this, but Yolanda insists that this secret was the catalyst in the events leading to Selena’s death, and that when the secret’s out, it’ll exonerate her and reveal who is truly responsible for Selena’s death.
I will say though, a lot of people don’t respect Maria Arraras or her book “Selena’s Secret”. The book just kind of seems like.. Kind of like gossip. She also seems to talk about herself a lot. And she like, beyond shows sympathy for Yolanda. It almost seems more like she’s trying to defend her.
But let me tell you this one claim she makes. Before anyone jumps down my throat, I’m not saying this is something I believe. But it has been reported by someone on the inside and I think it’s important to tell the whole story.
Yolanda claims that Selena was planning on running away with Dr. Ricardo Martinez, which she says explains why the suitcase and work permit were found at the crime scene.
Dr. Ricardo Martinez was not only Selena’s financial advisor and confidante, but he also became her physician. He supposedly removed a contraceptive implant from Selena’s arm and later performed liposuction on her. According to some sources (or rumors), Selena visited Martinez in Monterrey “frequently, sometimes wearing a disguise.”
Primer Impacto re-interviewed Yolanda and video taped her saying "she [Selena] was completely in love with Dr. Martinez."
In September of 1994, Selena met Ricardo Martinez, a doctor who lived in Monterrey, Mexico. Selena wanted to expand the number of boutiques by opening a Selena Etc. store in Monterrey. Martinez said that he had contacts in Mexico who could help Selena grow her business. He became a business adviser to Selena even though her family said he was simply a fan who posed in several pictures with her.
Yolanda became envious of Selena's dependency on Martinez. He began sending flowers to Selena's hotel room. She warned Selena that Martinez might have unprofessional intentions.
Selena began visiting Monterrey more frequently, often in disguise. Martinez's assistant, Sebastian D'Silva would pick up Selena at the airport; he said he noticed she was wearing wigs and using her husband Chris Pérez's surname so others would not identify her.
Yolanda has been talking about a mythical video tape, one that's "locked up in a safe" in some undisclosed bank in Mexico, that's supposedly going to clear her name from any wrongdoing. And this tape ain't no ordinary tape; according to Yolanda, it's a SEX TAPE *cue suspenseful novela sound FX* of Ricardo & Selena! This sex tape, says Yolanda, was being used by Ricardo in order to blackmail Selena because he wanted her to leave Chris and "run away with him" to Brazil. Ricardo, of course, says Yolanda's claims are nothing but delusions, which is why in 2012, he came forward and admitted to having an affair with Selena.
In this special primetime edition of “Primer Impacto,” titled “Amor Prohibido” (Forbidden Love) after one of the singer’s most popular songs, Martínez reveals the details of his relationship with the famous singer for the first time ever.
Martínez admits to having been deeply in love with Selena.
Selena’s family, including her widower, Chris, deny that any affair ever occurred. For one, they’ve stated that Ricardo Martinez really liked the attention that he got from hanging out with Selena, he got his own little chunk of spotlight. So it’s possible that he’s just trying to keep himself in the spotlight. Which is pretty much the same thing Yolanda’s doing by continuing to create stories about Selena.
Also, Selena had dinner with her mom and sister one night not long before she was killed and enthusiastically announced that as soon as she got back from her L.A. concert the next weekend, she and Chris were starting a family, a fact confirmed by an appointment she had made with her doctor which was to have taken place on the following Tuesday. Everyone in Selena's confidence confirms this was one couple who were very much in love and were not having issues.
The English crossover album that Selena had been working on was released after her death, on July 18th 1995 by EMI Latin and EMI Records. It was called Dreaming of You and it was predominantly in Spanish, but included popular hits in English like Dreaming of You and I Could Fall In Love. It became the first and only Spanish-language and Tejano recording to debut at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, and the first EMI Latin release to do so. It sold 175,000 copies on its first day of release in the U.S.—a then-record for a female vocalist. It won Album of the Year at the 1996 Tejano Music Awards and Female Pop Album of the Year at the 3rd annual Billboard Latin Music Awards.
Jennifer Lopez was cast to play Selena in the 1997 biopic film about her life; this choice drew criticism because of Lopez's ancestry.
After the film's release, fans changed their views on Jennifer Lopez after seeing her performance in the movie. She became famous after the film's release.
Interestingly, there was another actress who auditioned to play the role of Selena, and she also has a true crime story of her own. The latino community would be shaken again in April 1996 when actress Gloria de la Cruz was found in a dumpster, after having been raped in her grandmother’s garage, suffocated, doused in gasoline, and set on fire.
In 1997, Selena was commemorated with a museum and a life-sized bronze statue, Mirador de la Flor in Corpus Christi (which are visited by hundreds of fans each week).
In 2017, Chris shared a copy of his marriage license with Selena to commemorate their 25 year anniversary. “Obviously, Selena’s impact on the world is still being felt today…as it deserves to be. Thanks for sharing your pictures of the event to my messages and on my timeline. On another note, it’s hard to believe that today marks 25 years since Selena and I decided that the only way to be together…was to run away and get married (at 20 and 22 years old) in secret,” he wrote.
I saw on facebook a few days ago that Chris Perez made a really cute post where he said “I love the day after Halloween when I can go through all the pictures I’ve been tagged in where people dressed up as Selena and me.” I thought that was so cute. To this day, she’s still an absolute idol. A fashion icon and a true goddess to the latino community. I wonder if she ever could have known that people would be dressing up as her 30 years after her death.
In 1995, Selena was inducted into the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame, the Hard Rock Cafe's Hall of Fame, and the South Texas Music Hall of Fame. In 2001 she was inducted into the Tejano Music Hall of Fame. In 2017, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The unveiling ceremony of her star was attended by around 4,500 fans, which was the largest-ever crowd for an unveiling ceremony at the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Yolanda will be eligible for her first opportunity at parole in the year 2025… that’s only like 3 years away my dudes. She maintains that the events of that day were an accident and that she always has and always will love Selena. She never wanted to hurt her.
From what I can gather, Yolanda has had good behavior in prison so it is possible she could be released on parole in 2025. However, it’s also a huge concern for law enforcement if she’s released because a lot of people want her dead. Before her trial was over, gangs were actually making bets on who would kill Yolanda first if she were deemed innocent.
30 years may have passed but it’s not enough. We’re all still pissed.
Also, I checked and there are a ton of petitions out there where people are trying to get signatures to keep Yolanda Saldivar in prison. You can literally google “keep Yolanda Saldivar in prison” and you can take your pick of petitions.
“As Jehovah’s Witnesses, we don’t celebrate deaths or birthdays, and we don’t want people to think we’re behind all the festivities,” he said (per NBC News). However, he is “of course” glad that people continue to remember Selena’s legacy.
He added: “It’s crazy. It grows every day with events everywhere, but we’re not organizing them. Our family never got together every year on the day of her murder, because there’s nothing to celebrate… We remember our daughter every single day. We don’t need a special day to remember her.”
Before we wrap things up, I want to make a quick request-- I need your help in planning a future episode! I would like to do an episode or two on “Very Special Episodes”. If you don’t know what that is, it’s something that kind of came to be popular in the 1980’s in comedy sitcoms. These were episodes that had really dark, mature themes, which was unusual for the typical lightheartedness of these shows.
I’ll give you an example-- in Full House, there’s an episode where DJ (who’s like 12 years old) struggles with an eating disorder. Or in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, there’s the infamous scene where Will Smith is crying to his Uncle Phil about how his dad didn’t want him.
There are a lot of shows that did this as early as the 1960’s, like Diff’rent Strokes and All in the Family. So I’m asking you guys for suggestions on your favorite or most memorable Very Special Episodes. If you’ve got one you’d like to share, send me an email at email@example.com and I’ll give you a shoutout when we cover your Very Special Episode.
Welp, that’s it for now! I hope you guys found this episode insightful and hopefully I brought something new to the conversation about Selena.. And maybe also about concert etiquette.
Shoutout to the podcast Female Criminals for being the only really fantastic source for this case! This was the one main source where I found new information that wasn’t super readily available on google. They did a two part episode on Yolanda Saldivar and they have way more details that I didn’t get into, if you wanna check them out. I highly recommend them.
If you’d like to see detailed photos, videos, or notes about this episode, head on over to brokenlimelight.com. Each episode is listed there, along with a written transcript and ways to listen. If you want to hear a particular case covered, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can leave a comment under the Contact Me tab on brokenlimelight.com. If you have a strong opinion or a question about this episode, leave a comment on the bottom of the episode page so we can interact!
As always, thanks a bunch for listening. Until next time!
Photos & Videos
Yolanda & Larry Young (stand off)
Selena's family speaks out