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The INS building in Chicago.

The Independent News Service (INS) is a fictional newspaper featured in the Kolchak: The Night Stalker television series. It was first featured in the 1972 television movie The Night Stalker as well as it's 1973 sequel, The Night Strangler. The Independent News Service served as a pivotal backdrop and plot motivator for the Kolchak: The Night Stalker television series.

The Independent News Service, often abbreviated to just INS, was a wire service media agency based out of Chicago, Illinois. Though considered a reputable news outlet, the INS also had a proclivity towards publishing stories of a more sensationalistic flare, much to the frustration of editor Tony Vincenzo. One of INS' more colorful reporters was Carl Kolchak. While investigating a string of murders in Las Vegas, Nevada, Kolchak determined that the killer was a man who believed himself to be a vampire. With the help of a friend from the FBI, Kolchak's suspicions were confirmed as he confronted the serial killer Janos Skorzeny. However, the INS did not believe Kolchak's assertion that there were really such things as vampires and he was fired from his job. [1]

Tony Vincenzo hired Kolchak back less than a year later and Kolchak was armed with a new understanding of the dark underpinnings of the world. While continuing to cover stories for INS, Carl Kolchak found himself involved in mysteries that pitted him against vampires, werewolves, zombies, witches and even a sewer monster.

Vincenzo sent Kolchak to Seattle, Washington on a story where he picked up the trail of a mysterious killer who had been strangling young women and stealing their blood. Oddly, this M.O. appeared to be repeated once every twenty-one years, leading Kolchak to discover a disturbed scientist who used the spinal fluid of his victims to keep himself alive. [2]

In May, 1975, some mobsters tried to strong-arm Kolchak with regards to one of his informants, Mickey Patchek. Kolchak played dumb just long enough for them to leave him alone for a bit, but the thugs made their point very clear to Kolchak when they broke into the INS offices and completely trashed the editorial room. Tony Vincenzo nearly had a heart attack when he surveyed the damage. [3]

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This article relates to the Kolchak: The Night Stalker television franchise.

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