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- Me, Myself, and I
- THIS BAND IS FOR ALL OF SELENA'S FANS!
"SELENA YOU LIVE IN OUR HEARTS, WE MISS YOU"
Selena Quintanilla Pérez (April 16, 1971 – March 31, 1995), best known as Selena, was a Mexican-American singer who has been called the "queen" of Tejano music. The youngest child of a Latino immigrant couple, Selena released her first album at the age of twelve. She took the award for Female Vocalist of the Year in 1987 at the Tejano Music Awards and landed a recording contract with EMI a few years later. Her fame continued to grow throughout the early nineties, especially in Spanish-speaking countries. Her album Selena Live! won a Grammy Award for Best Mexican-American album at the 36th Grammy Awards and her 1994 album Amor Prohibido was nominated for another Grammy and produced four number one Spanish hits.
Jun 11, 2002, 3:00 PM PT
It's history--but not the sort of history some Selena fans wanted.
On Monday, the gun used to kill the celebrated Tejano singer was sawed into about 30 pieces and the remains thrown into Corpus Christi Bay. The destruction came at the behest of the late songbird's family, who viewed it as closure on their personal tragedy.
However, some in the Texas and Mexican-American communities are decrying the move as the loss of an important piece of their history.
Up until last month, the gun was an afterthought. The .38-caliber Taurus revolver, turned on Selena by her fan club president Yolanda Saldivar, had presumably been lost.
It had not been seen since it was introduced as evidence in the 1995 trial in which Saldivar was sentenced to life imprisonment for fatally shooting the 23-year-old rising star, whose full name was Selena Quintanilla Perez.
But last month, the pistol was discovered in the home of court reporter Sandra Oballe, who says she found it in a box of office materials.
Selena's father, Abraham Quintanilla and sister, Suzette, asked that the weapon be destroyed. And last week, Jose Longoria, a Texas district court judge, ordered the demolition.
The surviving Quintanillas watched Monday as the gun was shredded through a saw mechanism. Afterward they shook hands with Longoria and spoke out against those who wanted the weapon preserved.
"Why would you want to keep an instrument that was used to kill a loved one? I just wonder if some of those people that don't want the gun destroyed, I wonder if they would feel the same way if their child was killed with this gun," said the elder Quintanilla.
Selena won a Grammy for Best Mexican-American/Tejano Music Performance in 1993, and her posthumously released English-language album debuted at number one in 1996. The following year, Jennifer Lopez rose to stardom in the title role of the biopic movie Selena.
A statue of Selena in Corpus Christi, Texas, attracts fans and notes of love and grief. Some local leaders would like to see a Selena exhibit in a museum, a place where the gun could have been displayed. One local attorney claimed an unnamed client was prepared to offer $10,000 to a local charity if the gun was placed in a museum. Memorabilia collectors would like to have found out just how many thousands of dollars the weapon was worth on the open market.
The Corpus Christi Caller-Times quotes businessman and rancher Mark Crider saying, "To me, destroying that gun is like destroying a truckload of money."
But District Attorney Carlos Valdez, one of prosecutors in the murder trial who filed the motion to have the gun destroyed, said he didn't believe any amount of money made it worth keeping: "This gun has been used to cause enough misery in the past," he told Judge Longoria last week. Longoria agreed.
So did locals polled by the Caller-Times, who voted 65.4 percent to 30.9 percent in favor of the judge's decision. (Considering only 82 people have voted so far, it doesn't seem the issue is as gripping as the headline makers seem to think.)
After being chopped up, the gun was tossed off the back of a sheriff's boat and now lies splintered at the bottom of the bay.
Asked if he thought some macabre souvenir hunters might be tempted to retrieve it, Nueces County Sheriff's Captain Paul Rivera, who led the murder investigation and oversaw the destruction of the weapon, replied: "The water is about 16 feet deep and very choppy. I don't think anybody would risk going out there to look for pieces."
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