1 minute read

Yolanda Saldivar Trial: 1995

A Rising Star

Was Selena's death on March 31, 1995, a cold-blooded murder or was it a tragic accident? This became the consuming question not only for the Tejano (Spanish word for Texas) music world, centered largely in Corpus Christi where Selena lived and died, but ultimately in the trial of Yolanda Saldivar.

Saldivar came into Selena's life in 1991, when the mousy registered nurse approached Selena's manager/father Abraham for his blessing to organize the Selena Fan Club. He agreed.

For the next few years, Selena's career blossomed as did the unusually strong bond between Saldivar and the singer. Saldivar tended to Selena's every personal whim and many of her professional needs, eventually controlling access to Selena for everyone but family members. In 1993, Selena named Saldivar manager of her Corpus Christi fashion boutique, Selena, Etc. The shop, one of two that marketed Selena's fashion designs, was the singer's personal creative outlet, one off limits to her controlling father. Or so she thought.

Abraham Quintanilla had directed his daughter's career with a strong hand since she was nine years old. Selena first sang as part of a family band her restaurateur father created, Selena y Los Dinos. Quintanilla knocked on closed doors, dogged reluctant record companies, and took Selena out of school in eighth grade to concentrate on a music career. Selena won awards and signed a recording contract with EMI Latin. In 1992, she married a guitarist in her band, Chris Perez. Meanwhile, Saldivar's feelings for Selena progressed from adoring to obsessive. She even gave her an egg-shaped diamond ring.

Selena's talent, good looks, and hard work brought her a dedicated following, but her fame was largely limited to regional Spanish-American audiences. Quintanilla decided to change that. He just had to overcome a few obstacles, including Yolanda Saldivar.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1995 to PresentYolanda Saldivar Trial: 1995 - A Rising Star, Killing Follows Embezzlement Accusations, Trial Focuses On Shooting Aftermath