Picture a low-brow version of Scarface crossed with Weekend at Bernie's. Last Friday a dead body, shot in the back of the head, was found abandoned in a late-model, bronze-colored Buick. The corpse was there at least two days before anyone noticed. In turn, the police identified the body as Robert Leroy Gilbo, a reputed meth baron.

While dead bodies abandoned in cars are, as a rule of thumb, mysterious, the resulting speculation over this corpse has set in motion a narrative that continues to duck and scurry through the city's shadowy back alleys. Four years ago, Gilbo was busted for running a major meth lab. Since then, he has hardly been a poster child for reform. At first, police and nosy neighbors speculated that Gilbo may have been in transit to nearby Emmanuel Hospital. Had a drug deal gone bad? Were his honchos taking him to hospital when he died?

What further complicates the story behind Gilbo's demise is the lurid nature of a nearby four-plex. The abandoned Buick was found around the corner from a reputed drug house.

"They could have done anything with him," said a neighbor, speculating about the body dumping, "but, to park him across from a drug house is sending some sort of message." For the past few months, Betty (not her real name) has seen increasing drug commerce at the four-plex, including the use of her backyard as a lounging area for customers.

To further complicate matters, neighbors told the Mercury that they believe the four-plex is sponsored by Transitions Project, Inc., a city-sponsored non-profit that helps homeless get on their feet. The possibility that tax dollars have been subsidizing local drug trade, obviously, has concerned nearby residents.

In fact, Transitions is only tangentially involved. The confusion, though, is understandable: The manager of the four-plex, Ken Bowden, works at Transitions as a housing specialist. Neighbors reported that he left business cards and--inadvertently or otherwise--mislead them to believe that the residence was part of Transitions Project.

On July 1, Bowden, apparently apprised of the free-flowing drug trade at the four-plex served a 30-day eviction notice to the reputed ringleader, "Bobby." Two days after the discovering of the corpse, neighbors reported that Bobby disappeared. As of press time, Bobby remains M.I.A. Meanwhile, neighbors have reported no slowdown in the drug trade at the four-plex.>