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Where is Yolanda Saldivar Now? What to Know About Selena’s Killer
The convicted murderer is featured in the Oxygen limited series Selena & Yolanda: The Secrets Between Them.
Yolanda Saldívar may forever be known as the woman behind the murder of beloved Tejano star Selena Quintanilla-Pérez.
On March 31, 1995, the San Antonio nurse accused of embezzling money from Selena met with the Grammy Award-winning musician at the Days Inn in Corpus Christi, Texas. Shortly before noon, prosecutors said Saldívar — widely painted as an obsessed fan who weaseled her way into managing Selena’s fan club and businesses — fired a single shot into the singer’s back when confronted about stealing funds.
The 23-year-old singer known as “The Queen of Tejano Music” narrowly made it to the motel lobby, identified Saldívar as the shooter, and died a short time later at the hospital.
In the meantime, Saldívar, still armed, retreated to a pickup truck parked at the Days Inn, leading to a nine-plus-hour standoff with police, threatening suicide and claiming Selena’s death was an accident.
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Selena’s death — just days before her 24th birthday — sent the music world into a state of grief in what would become one of the industry’s greatest tragedies of all time.
Now, Saldívar is sharing her interpretation of their friendship in the two-part limited series Selena & Yolanda: The Secrets Between Them, which premieres with back-to-back episodes Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. ET/PT and concludes Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. Episodes will be available to stream on Peacock the day after they air.
Yolanda Saldívar’s Job with Selena
Selena was on the path to massive international success when she hired an adoring fan Yolanda Saldívar, who insisted on creating a Selena fan club in 1991. Before Selena found stardom with hits such as “Dreaming of You” and “I Could Fall in Love,” Saldívar was an in-home nurse and reportedly called Selena’s father and manager, Abraham Quintanilla, about starting the club.
Prosecutors maintained that Saldívar ingratiated herself into Selena’s life, becoming a trusted family friend.
Saldívar served as the fan club president and was also promoted to manage two of the singer’s Selena Etc. beauty salons: one in Corpus Christi and one in San Antonio.
Associates, including Selena’s personal fashion designer, Martin Gomez, told The Washington Post that Saldívar was challenging to work with.
"She was very vindictive. She was very possessive of Selena," said Gomez. "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."
Prosecutors claimed at trial that Selena’s father discovered Saldívar embezzled $30,000 from the fan club, according to The Washington Post. Per the biography Selena: Como la Flor, written by Texas writer and historian Joe Nick Patoski, Abraham Quintanilla caught wind of the alleged embezzlement after fans paid membership fees and received no merchandise in return.
Per the trial testimony of Selena’s husband, Chris Pérez, the Quintanilla family confronted Saldívar on March 9, and Selena told Saldívar over the phone that she was fired, according to Texas Monthly. However, according to Selena’s sister and boutique employee, Selena decided to fire Saldívar on March 30, one day before the murder.
Prosecutor Mark Skurka said the disgruntled employee “lured” Selena to the Days Inn before fatally shooting her, reported the Washington Post.
On October 23, 1995, a Harris County jury found Yolanda Saldívar guilty of first-degree murder. She was subsequently sentenced to life in prison with eligibility for parole after serving 30 years.
According to records viewed by Oxygen.com, the now-63-year-old is currently serving her sentence with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (T.D.C.J.) and housed at the Patrick L. O’Daniel Unit (formerly the Mountain View Unit) for female offenders. The prison is located in Gatesville, Texas, in Coryell County, about 300 miles north of Corpus Christi.
When is Yolanda Saldívar up for parole?
According to T.D.C.J. records examined by Oxygen.com, Saldívar is eligible for parole on March 30, 2025.
As the 30-year milestone of her imprisonment approaches, she plans to pen a letter to the Quintanilla family, pleading with them not to hinder her possible parole, one of Saldívar’s relatives told The Messenger.
“If they stand in her way, she knows her chances of getting out are very slim,” said the source in an October 2023 interview. “She wants to tell them how sorry she is, how much she’s changed. She wants to beg them not to oppose her request.”
Weeks after the interview with Saldívar’s family member, a source close to the Quintanilla family told the outlet they didn’t want to see Selena’s killer free.
“[The family] will do everything in their power to keep her in jail,” said the source. “She was sentenced to life in prison, and she needs to spend her life in prison. Until the day she dies.”
Several factors would have to be considered in the parole board’s decision, such as good behavior and how much time Saldívar has served, according to ABC San Antonio affiliate KSAT-TV.
Neither Saldívar nor the Quintanilla family has directly commented on the convicted killer’s possible parole.
The two-part limited series Selena & Yolanda: The Secrets Between Them premieres with back-to-back episodes Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. ET/PT and concludes Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. Episodes will be available to stream on Peacock the day after they air.