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Fan Club President Shot Teen Tejano Queen Selena in the Back (FPD CASE VAULT)

Yolanda Saldivar Shot Teen Queen Selena in the Back
Source: Reuters /Landov

Tex-Mex music queen Selena was killed by a woman she trusted, Yolanda Saldivar (right), who embezzled money from the star.

Mar. 31 2024, Published 12:03 p.m. ET

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Tejano music queen Selena was shooting to super stardom when her life was brutally snuffed out by her friend and fan club president Yolanda Saldivar.

On the morning of March 31, 1995, Saldivar shot Selena, 23, in the back with a single hollow-point bullet from a .38-caliber handgun after a showdown with the "Mexican Madonna" in a Corpus Christi, Texas, motel room.

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Yolanda Saldivar Shot Teen Queen Selena in the Back
Source: AP Photo; Photo by Ira Strickstein REUTERS

Tejano star Selena, left, watches as Yolanda Saldivar speaks to a crowd at a post-1994 Tejano Music Awards party in San Antonio, Texas.; Selena's handsome husband Chris Perez entered court to hear a judge impose a life sentence on his wife's killer.

The singer told her husband, Chris Perez, her pal and personal assistant that Saldivar had embezzled $30,000 from fan club accounts.

Just two days before the shooting, Saldivar, then 34, met Selena and her dad, Abraham Quintanilla, at a Days Inn in Corpus Christi, Texas.

"We were fixing to fire her," recalls Quintanilla. "And when we started closing in, she just went bananas. If you've ever seen a cornered animal, you know how she reacted."

On the fateful morning, Saldivar persuaded Selena to meet her at the same hotel so she could turn over bank statements and other documents.

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Maids working nearby heard the songstress screaming as she fled Room 158.

Then they watched in horror as the former nurse ran out of the room and shot the fleeing beauty in the back. The slug tore open her right shoulder, lung, veins and a major artery, causing blood to pour out in torrents.

Witnesses say Saldivar followed the wounded star into the lobby and yelled, "Bitch!" as Selena lay dying in a pool of blood on the floor. The killer made no attempt to help the young star.


Yolanda Saldivar Shot Teen Queen Selena in the Back
Source: REUTERS/Martha E. Alvarez-El Norte

The beauty's body was displayed at the Corpus Christi Convention Center, where thousands paid their final respects.

Saldivar retreated to a red pickup truck in the parking lot where, with the gun pointed at her own head, she kept cops at bay during a tense 10-hour standoff. Finally, the shooter, who was said to have a twisted obsession with her sexy young boss, was taken into custody.

At her trial, Saldivar claimed the gun went off by accident as she gestured to Selena to close the motel room door. But on Oct. 23, 1995, a jury of six men and six women found Saldivar guilty of first-degree murder. She was sentenced to life and is being held in solitary confinement in a 9x6-foot cell due to prison death threats. Saldivar is not eligible for parole until 2025.

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Yolanda Saldivar Shot Teen Queen Selena in the Back
Source: AP Photo/David J. Phillip

The star's grave near Corpus Christi was covered with flowers on the first anniversary of her death.

After her conviction, the brutal beast's money hungry ways became perfectly clear. It was revealed she'd swiped $9,200 from her old boss, dermatologist Dr. Faustino Gomez in the 1980s and welshed on a $7,300 student loan.

"Yolanda is a bad person," remarked Peter Lopez, attorney for Selena's family. "This was a premeditated, cold-blooded murder."


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