At the age of 8, Shane accidentally broke a chair, earning the physical wrath of his alcoholic father. By this stage in his life his mother was dead. Later at night, he soaked his father's body in alcohol and dropped a lit lighter onto him, setting him, and the house, ablaze. Taken aback at how quickly the flames spread, Shane stumbled out of the house, remembering too late that his three month old sister was also in the dwelling. Both of them were killed.
At the age of 18, Shane lured a young girl to his apartment with the promise of free snoke. Taking the drugs, she soon passed out—the moment Shane had been waiting for. He set the apartment ablaze, and watched as she screamed, taking pleasure from the smell of burning flesh.
At the age of 19, Shane was charged and convicted of 23 crimes such as murder, torture, kidnapping, use of narcotics, and arson. He was judged guilty on all four counts, and he took it with poor grace, slurring insults until he was gagged. No appeals would be allowed, and he was sentenced to swift execution. Instead, he was subjected to neural resocialization. A false memory was constructed where he graduated from basic training. In the memory, he listened to an induction speech granted by Emperor Arcturus Mengsk, a man he looked up to. His eagerness got the better of him as he grinned despite the need for discipline, but Mengsk took it in good humor.
Shane took part in a several battles against the zerg, particularly against infested terrans, and during one battle watched with envy as firebats set his enemies alight. He was later captured and infested by the Swarm, where in the process of conversion, he was forced to watch as his false memories were stripped away and his real ones played out before him. During or after the infestation, he took part in overrunning a Dominion outpost.