Who killed Selena Quintanilla Perez and why?

The tragic story behind who killed Selena Quintanilla Perez explained...

American singer Selena (born Selena Quintanilla-Perez, 1971 - 1995) rides in a carriage during a performance at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo at the Houston Astrodome, Houston, Texas, February 26, 1995. The performance was her last before her murder the following month.
(Image credit: Arlene Richie/Getty Images)

We love Selena Quintanilla: we are still obsessed over her outfits and still listen to her music. And recently, after watching the new Netflix series, we still have so many questions, one of which is who killed Selena Quintanilla Perez?

The TV show, Selena: The Series, is based on the life of the famous singer whose life was tragically cut short when she was murdered in 1995 and has truly captivated us all. If you were old enough to witness this first hand, then you may already know the answer but for a lot of new viewers, there is just one question on their mind: who killed the Tejano superstar?

Selena, who was a Mexican-American born and raised in Texas, was a legend for many different reasons. Not only was she the first major Latin celebrity to break the mainstream music industry, Selena Quintanilla's songs were chart-topping and won Grammy awards too, but she quickly became a beauty icon for refusing to conform to norms and embracing her natural beauty instead, be it her curves or enhancing her features with her famous makeup routine. Selena's outfits were some of the best '90s looks to date and also solidified her as a style queen.

There have also been many ways that her life has been honored over the years. From artwork to cosmetics lines but possibly the most notable—and famous—is the now iconic1997 biopic, in which Jennifer Lopez played Selena as one of her first acting roles. 

Now, Selena fans—both old and new—are able to watch the dramatized version of her life on Netflix, with the recently released part two of the show airing on the streaming service now. Naturally, it has raised many questions about what happened to the singer, including how Selena Quintanilla died and who killed her.

Read on to understand the full heartbreaking story of her murder...

Who killed Selena Quintanilla?

Selena was killed by a woman she actually knew. Yolanda Saldívar was the president of her fan club and grew close with not only Selena but the Quintanilla family too. 

As those who have already binge-watched part two of Selena: The Series will know, Selena first met Yolanda in 1991 when she was a newly-qualified 30-year-old nurse in San Antonio, Texas as well as being a super fan of the singer. At the time, she was 11-years older than her idol but she was passionate about her love for her—she even called up Selena's dad/manager to ask permission to form the fan club she eventually headed up. 

The club quickly amassed over 1,500 members and Yolanda was dedicated to promoting the star, always by her side whenever she would visit her own town in Texas. However, as we've yet to see on the show, the loving relationship between the two quickly became toxic as Yolanda grew obsessed with Selena, to the point where people around her and Selena's family were concerned about just how much she "loved" the singer. 

Nevertheless, the two continued their friendship for years before Yolanda's fixation ultimately led to the death of Selena. On March 30, 1995, Yolanda checked into a local Days Inn in Corpus Christi, where she called Selena and asked to meet up. The women met up the next day and ended up arguing over some financial documents the singer needed to file her taxes. As Selena headed for the door, on her way out of the hotel room, Yolanda took out a gun and pulled the trigger, shooting Selena in the back and fatally wounding her. Selena was declared dead at Corpus Christi Memorial Hospital, just 90 minutes after the shooting, creating shockwaves across the nation. 

How did Selena Quintanilla die? 

Selena Quintanilla was shot and killed in Corpus Christie, Texas on March 31, 1995. She was just 23 years old.

In a wicked twist of fate, it turns out that Selena knew her killer. Read on to find out who killed Selena Quintanilla Perez.

Selena (Quintanilla) receives Grammy Award at The 36th Annual Grammy Awards on March 1, 1994 in New York, New York at Radio City Music Hall.

(Image credit: Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

What happened to Yolanda Saldívar and did she get charged? 

In short, Yolanda Saldívar was charged and sent to prison. 

A few months after the shooting on October 15, 1995, Yolanda went on trial in Houston for the murder of Selena. Her lawyer insisted that the shooting was an accident and that she meant to fire the gun at herself, according to The New York Times (opens in new tab). However, she was eventually convicted of first-degree murder on October 24, 1995, following testimonies from Selena's father, husband, and sister. 

Saldívar is currently serving time at a maximum-security facility in Texas called Mountain View Unit. It has been reported that she might be eligible for parole in 2025—30 years after she committed the horrific murder. 

Sagal Mohammed
Sagal Mohammed

Sagal is a journalist, specialising in lifestyle, pop culture, fashion and beauty.  She has written for a number of publications including Vogue, Glamour, Stylist, Evening Standard, Bustle, You Magazine, Dazed and Wonderland to name a few.