I read this short story in the 1960s (in an anthology, probably an American hardback, no later than 1967) but it probably dates from the 1950s.

For reasons I can't recall a maniac gains control of a space ship's control room and kills the entire crew. The only deaths I can remember are two crewmen who try to gain access to the control room by climbing between the ship's double hull; the maniac finds a way to compress the two hulls, crushing them to death. After having killed everyone the maniac congratulates himself, unaware that the last of the ship's oxygen has just run out.

Further details:

  • I'm sure I read it in an anthology and not a magazine and it could not have been later than 1967.
  • The killer was human and I believe the ship was a civilian vessel.
  • I'm pretty sure it was an American hardback.
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    Could you add any more details you may remember? – Adamant May 30 '16 at 5:14
  • You don't remember if the maniac was male or female? Human or alien? Whether the ship was operating within the solar system or on an interstellar mission? Whether the ship's mission was military or scientific or commercial? – user14111 May 30 '16 at 5:22
  • Was the anthology in hardcover or paperback? Any idea whether it was a North American, British, or Australian edition? – user14111 May 30 '16 at 5:25
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    It must have been a great story, seeing as (1) it was selected for an anthology, and (2) you remember it and are trying to find it again 50 years later. Can you tell us what was so great about it, because I can't tell from your summary. Was it scientific concepts, sense of wonder, mood, atmosphere, finely wrought prose, witty dialogue, interesting characters? – user14111 May 30 '16 at 5:47
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    It was mood and atmosphere, very creepy and violent. I read this in junior high - I had been reading SF since I was eleven but I had never come across a story like this one. – Lee Eckhardt May 30 '16 at 21:59

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