Shelly is the deceased fiancee of The Crow, and the manner of her death is what drives him to seek revenge.
Shelly Webster was created by James O'Barr, who created The Crow as a way of dealing with a personal tragedy.
As Shelly is already deceased at the beginning of the book, her story is told to us through flashbacks and visions. She and fiance Eric Draven live together, are madly in love and have just begun to plan a wedding when tragedy strikes. After a night of celebration, she and Eric are driving home when their car breaks down without warning. Eric gets out and tries to fix it, but it is a dark and rainy evening, and he has no tools. He is still rummaging under the bonnet when a truck drives past, playing loud music. As the truck backs up toward them, Eric tells Shelley to lock herself in the car. A gang of thugs get out and approach them, and after a heated argument, they shoot Eric in the head. He is then left helpless and dying while the gang attack Shelly, unable to stop them from beating her to death and raping her in front of him. Medical help arrives, but Eric dies on the operating table, and Shelly is pronounced dead on arrival.
Major Story Arcs
The sexual assault and murder of Shelly are the driving force behind The Crow's quest for revenge.