Selena Forever

The Selena Trial

The Houston Chronicles Files

Tejano radio callers reflect anger, sadness

By ARMANDO VILLAFRANCA Copyright 1995 Houston Chronicle

10:09 PM 10/23/1995

Some called to vent their anger, to bellow that life in prison is not enough for the murderer of their beloved Selena. But most simply needed to share their relief at the news Yolanda Saldivar had been found guilty. "I just had to call somebody," said one woman caller to a local Tejano music station, minutes after the verdict had been announced Monday afternoon. "I'm glad it's finally over," said another. "I guess now justice has finally been done."

Selena fans from across Houston called KQQK, 106.5 FM, which aired their comments while playing Selena records and broadcasting live news reports throughout the afternoon. The callers praised the verdict and offered a final tribute to the star. "She still won't come back," said one. " ... I feel more sad." "We've been getting a lot of emotional phone calls," said Marco Camacho, KQQK-FM vice president and general manager.

The supportive calls had been coming since the weekend, Camacho said. When one woman called in support of Saldivar, saying the shooting may have been an accident as her attorneys contended, it spurred a backlash from rabid Selena fans. They couldn't believe Saldivar could generate any sympathy. "It's been a very emotional, trying time for the Hispanic community,"Camacho said, "and it's been very evident by the calls we've been receiving." Selena's death touched a nerve in the Hispanic community.

To her fans, Selena was a role model, a singer from a modest South Texas upbringing who never let fame wedge a gap between herself and fans. The jury now must decide on punishment for Selena's killer. They can choose up to life in prson, but for some callers Monday that is not enough. "I personally would have liked to see her get the death penalty," said one woman. "Especially being in Texas, how they could've ruled that out?"

Another woman called to say she didn't favor the death penalty or a life sentence. "I would've wanted to see her get out," she said, "to see how much people would have made her suffer."