IN 1995 Latino singing sensation Selena Quintanilla was at the top of her game with millions of fans around the world.
But her life was cut tragically short when she was brutally killed by a woman who she thought was her friend, Yolanda Saldívar.
What did Yolanda Saldívar say in her 1998 interview?
Selena's murderer was friend and employee Yolanda Saldívar who shot and killed her on March 31, 1995 in a Days Inn motel in Corpus Christi.
In 1998, after three years in jail for the murder, Saldívar gave an interview about her crime to American news station 20/20.
In the interview she made sensational claims, all the while claiming that theshe killed Selena "by accident".
Below are the highlights from that interview that was broadcast back in 1998
- Saldívar said: “They made me out to be a monster – I just want to say, I did not kill Selena. It was an accident and my conscience is clear.”
- Salvídar claimed that the two were close and that Selena even called her “mom” when they would talk on the phone.
- The killer claimed that she tried to cut ties with Selena that night when she arrived at the motel and denied that Selena ever told her that she was being fired.
- Salvídar claimed she told Selena to leave, pulled out a gun and put it to own her head. The murderer then said she told Selena to leave or she would kill herself. Selena wanted to de-escalate the situation and tried closing the motel room door to talk.
- Speaking about the moment the gun went off, which killed Selena, Salvídar said: “And when she was walking to the door, she was going at an angle, and I told her, ‘Don’t close the door.’ And in that instant, the gun went off.”
Was Yolanda Saldivar obsessed?
By several accounts, Saldívar quickly became dangerously obsessed with the singer she admired.
Yolanda Saldívar began her path down the murderous road when she founded the Selena Fan Club in 1991, before working her way all the way up to a trusted confidant for the singer.
But after Selena Quintanilla’s dad, Abraham Quintanilla, found hints that Saldívar was embezzling money from the singer’s boutiques, the father-manager demanded she prove her innocence.
It was the prospect of losing everything she loved inadvertently drove Saldívar to kill the singer.
Carlos Valdez who served as the lead prosecutor in Saldívar subsequent murder trial, told A&E Real Crime: “Yolanda wanted to kill Selena because Selena was firing Yolanda.
"She wouldn’t exist if she didn’t have Selena. And if she didn’t work for Selena, she didn’t want to work for anybody,”
Did Yolanda Saldivar have a shrine?
According to an article published in Texas Monthly shortly after Selena’s death, Saldívar’s apartment was “like a shrine” for the singer.
Martin Gomez, one of the designers who shared office space with Saldívar, was also alarmed with her attachment.
Speaking to The Washington Post days after Selena’s death, he claimed: "She was very vindictive. She was very possessive of Selena,"
"She'd get, like, very angry if you crossed her. She would play so many mind games, say people had said things they hadn't said."
Where is Yolanda Saldivar now?
Saldívar was charged with first-degree murder and was put on trial, with her main defense being that she had fired accidentally.
After a short three-hour deliberation, the jury returned a guilty verdict on October 23, 1995.
Three days later, Saldívar was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 30 years.
Saldívar is currently serving her sentence at Mountain View Unit, a maximum-security women’s prison in Gatesville, Texas.
She will be eligible for parole in 2025.
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