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Anneli Kanerva – Staff Writer
Last week, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Professor Donald Roth currently runs the most successful private investigation firm in Iowa, Hypothetical Investigations. Roth’s low-profile approach to private investigation has come to an end now that he is a nationally recognized private investigator, but he has become a new favorite in the Sioux Center community.
When interviewed by local news outlets, Professor Roth was quick to attribute his success to his students. Roth claims that his students unknowingly do most of the work for him in his classes. Professor Roth, known for his funny and unusual hypothetical questions, revealed that his hypotheticals are actual facts of his investigations and that students often give him, “good ideas about which leads to investigate or aspects to consider.”
Not all of Roth’s students are unwitting associates to his investigations. A group of unidentified students from Roth’s classes, known only as “The Back Row,” are unpaid interns for Hypothetical Investigations. Roth says The Back Row is crucial to his investigations, but he refuses to disclose the names of The Back Row because he claims it will compromise their ability to quietly collect information.
“They know how to work the Sioux Center rumor mill, they’re my eyes and ears in the community,” said Roth. “Sometimes a little bit of Dutch bingo can get me more information than hours of research on the internet.”
Roth’s students are useful for information, but he says that the most important purpose of the Back Row is to babysit Roth’s young children while he hunts down leads. The students are reportedly given extra credit for their babysitting, which is often necessary as Roth’s classes are said to be “unusual and challenging.”
An anonymous member of The Back Row, who will be referred to as “John,” believes that Roth is a good detective because he automatically assumes that the strangest explanation is true, which is often the case in the private investigation business. The anonymous member also claims that Roth solved a case because he had seen something like it on an episode of South Park.
“Roth just looked at all the facts of the case and started laughing like a maniac,” said John. “He said he knew exactly what to do because he just had to ‘think like Cartman.’”
Roth’s success has made him a well-known member of the Sioux Center community, causing an extreme increase in cases for Hypothetical Investigations. However, many of the cases are unworkable because they are mostly jealous wives and nosy parents trying to have people surveilled.
Still, Hypothetical Investigations is extremely busy meaning that Roth is looking to hire three of his students to work for him part time. Roth refuses to identify the potential candidates but he admits that they are all members of The Back Row.