Who is Yolanda Saldívar?
Yolanda Saldívar is a former registered nurse, who became known for her involvement in the murder of the popular Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez in 1995.
Yolanda Saldívar Wiki: Age, Childhood, and Education
Yolanda Saldívar was born on 19 September 1960 in San Antonio, Texas, USA., one of eight children of Frank and Juanita Saldívar. Her father worked as a head waiter at a Mexican restaurant. She attended several elementary schools before graduating from McCollum High School in 1979. She faced bullying and teasing due to her weight and struggled to make friends, which led her to isolate herself from social activities.
She went on to study nursing at Texas A&M International University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1990. Saldívar adopted three children, including her niece, and worked as a registered nurse at several hospitals, including Medical Center Hospital and St. Luke’s Lutheran Hospital. She faced legal trouble over stolen money from her employers, and an unpaid student loan.
Introduction to Selena’s Music and Starting the Fan Club
Yolanda Saldívar first became interested in Selena’s music in the late 1980s, when introduced to it by a friend. Saldívar, who was of Mexican-American heritage and grew up in Texas, was immediately drawn to Selena’s unique style of Tejano music and her charismatic stage presence.
For Saldívar, Selena’s music represented a connection to her own cultural heritage and a source of inspiration. She approached Selena’s father, Abraham, and talked with him about starting a Selena fan club in San Antonio. He immediately approved of her idea, and she was made the club’s president.
Clothing Store Manager and Money Embezzlement Accusation
Yolanda’s involvement with Selena’s business increased. The fan club quickly rose from 1,000 to 5,000 members. When the two bonded over the success, Selena named her the manager of her two clothing boutiques in Corpus Christi and San Antonio. Saldívar was responsible for handling the day-to-day operations of the boutiques, including inventory management, sales and staffing.
Its been 27 years since you left us and for me it seems it has only been 27 seconds! Forgive me my friend! Until we meet again!
Posted by Yolanda Saldivar on Thursday, March 31, 2022
However, people from the club started complaining about missed payments and receiving nothing from the club, and Selena’s father became suspicious of Yolanda’s management.
He learned that she was embezzling money, and in early 1995 Abraham, Selena, and her sister Suzette organized a meeting with Yolanda. During the meeting, they accused her of illegal actions, and Abraham fired Yolanda immediately, but Selena kept in contact with Yolanda as she had to give her financial documents.
The Murder of Selena
On 31 March 1995, Selena arranged to meet Yolanda Saldívar at a Days Inn hotel in Corpus Christi to collect financial records that Saldívar had been withholding. However, Saldívar claimed she’d been raped in Mexico, which caused a further delay. Selena drove Saldívar to a hospital, but doctors found no evidence of rape. Upon returning to the motel, Selena asked for the financial papers again, but Saldívar pulled a pistol from her purse and pointed it at Selena. The singer tried to run, but Saldívar shot her in the right shoulder, causing severe damage to an artery. Despite being critically injured, Selena ran towards the lobby seeking help, with Saldívar in pursuit, hurling insults. Selena ultimately died due to blood loss in hospital at 1:05 p.m., just 16 days before her 24th birthday.
Trial and Sentencing
Yolanda Saldívar’s trial for causing fatal shots to Selena, was a hot topic in Latino community in the United States. There was no televised broadcast of the trial, however, outside the courthouse, there were bunch of reporters and cameras. Saldívar’s defense team successfully argued for a change of venue to Houston, Texas, citing concerns about an unfair trial in Selena’s hometown. During the trial, the prosecution presented a police confession in which Saldívar admitted to shooting Selena during an argument over allegations of theft. Conversely, the defense presented testimony from Texas Ranger Robert Garza, who claimed that Saldívar stated the shooting was unintentional.
Despite the defense’s claims, the prosecution argued that Saldívar, who was trained as a nurse, failed to call for emergency assistance or provide any medical aid to Selena after she was shot. Moreover, evidence revealed that the pistol required considerable pressure on the trigger to fire, making it improbable that the shooting was accidental. The judge did not allow the jury to consider lesser charges, and they were instructed to either acquit or convict Saldívar of first-degree murder.
After a few hours of deliberation, the jury found Saldívar guilty of murder, and she received a life sentence in prison. She is currently incarcerated at the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville, Texas, where she is kept in isolation for 23 hours each day because of death threats from Selena’s fans. She can accept visits from friends and family for two hours a week, and she will become eligible for parole on 30th March 2025.
The gun used to kill Selena disappeared after the trial, and was eventually found by chance in a box of office supplies at the home of a court reporter named Sandra Oballe. Although some groups objected to its disposal, the gun was dismantled, and its parts were thrown into Corpus Christi Bay in 2002.
Saldívar has filed a petition with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals challenging her conviction, claiming that it was filed in 2000 with the 214th District Court but was never sent to the higher court. Her request was received on 31 March 2008, which happened to be the 13th anniversary of Selena’s death; the petition was denied.
Films and TV Shows With Yolanda Saldívar
Yolanda Saldívar’s story has been featured in various forms of popular culture. In 1997, a biographical film entitled “Selena” was released, which chronicled the life and career of the late singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, and included Saldívar’s portrayal as the murderer. The film was well-received and helped bring Selena’s music and legacy to a wider audience.
Saldívar has also been the subject of several true crime documentaries and TV shows, including “Killer Women with Piers Morgan” and “Murder Made Me Famous”. In addition, she’s been referenced in various other works of popular culture, such as songs, TV shows, and books.
Tejano music star Selena Quintanilla was fatally shot by Yolanda Saldivar, the president of her fan club, on this day in 1995 https://t.co/dwgZJApzii pic.twitter.com/iperDTamDY
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) March 31, 2019
According to sources, Yolanda Saldívar’s net worth is estimated at $2 million, as of early 2023.
Personal Life, Marriage, Children
According to reports, Yolanda was married and has three children, Armando, Juanita, and Frank Saldivar. However, there is no further info on her personal life, confirming or refuting her family situation.
Appearance and Body Measurement
Yolanda Saldívar has dark brown hair and brown eyes. She is 5ft 2ins (1.57m) tall, and weighs approximately 120lbs (55kgs). Her vital statistics are 34-28-40, and her bra size 34C.