This first death was so traumatic that it inspired a whole new coinage in the comic book lexicon. Gail Simone was just a concerned fan when she started the Women In Refrigerators site following the events of Green Lantern vol. 3, #48. She would later go on to pen some of the more sensitive portrayals of female characters in the notoriously male-lead DC Universe which, on the evidence of this, was more than necessary.
Kyle Rayner was the third character to hold the title of the main Green Lantern, following the Golden Age's Alan Scott and fan favourite Silver Ager Hal Jordan being dismissed for going crazy and murdering half a universe. Kyle was a very different kind of Lantern.
Rather than the stoic heroism of Alan or the Han Solo charm of Hal, he brought a bit of a Bill & Ted flavour to the role. Well, maybe not quite that stupid - although we're still not 100% on how he pronounces "Socrates" - but there was certainly something of the Californian surfer dude to this new Green Lantern, and the tone of his solo title was accordingly petty light.
Which obviously couldn't last. So, whilst he's off dealing with some bright cosmic threat, Kyle's new girlfriend Alexandra gets slaughtered by the villain Major Force, who then stuffs her body in the apartment fridge. It's still a shocking scene to his day, even with the cultural context of Women In Refrigerators. This was just supposed to be a bit of fun! Nobody was meant to get hurt!
Targeting a loved one especially radically shifted this new Green Lantern's approach, and probably put us on the road to seeing Hal Jordan replacing him.