Bill Torpy

Columnist

Bill Torpy, who writes about metro Atlanta for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, joined the newspaper in 1990. He has covered politics, government and countless stories about police, courts and the justice system. The Chicago native graduated from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill., and previously worked for the Daily Southtown in Chicago

Latest from Bill Torpy

Torpy at Large: Low bidder’s uphill fight to do business in Atlanta
 I’ve always liked the underdog. You know, the dude who grabs his lance, jumps on his horse and takes off after that darned windmill. They say you can’t fight City Hall. But I appreciate the hard-headed folks who never got the memo. So meet Alessandro Salvo, who for years has been fighting The Man and has, oddly enough, figured...

Posted: a minute ago

I’ve always liked the underdog. You know, the dude who grabs his lance, jumps on his horse and takes off after that darned windmill. They say you can’t fight City Hall. But I appreciate the hard-headed folks who never got the memo. So meet Alessandro Salvo, who for years has been fighting The Man and has, oddly enough, figured...
Torpy at Large: Money CAN buy happiness. Just ask Atlanta cops
 In the news business, we have something called “Man Bites Dog” stories, which are yarns in which something really bizarre happens. Last week, I felt such a story coming on after talking with Lt. Steve Zygaj. We were discussing the rash of break-ins and car thefts in Buckhead, yet I found the usually dour Atlanta street cop to...

Posted: 4 days ago

In the news business, we have something called “Man Bites Dog” stories, which are yarns in which something really bizarre happens. Last week, I felt such a story coming on after talking with Lt. Steve Zygaj. We were discussing the rash of break-ins and car thefts in Buckhead, yet I found the usually dour Atlanta street cop to...
Torpy at Large: Arrest-release-repeat and enough blame to go around
 When Terry Kelley bolted from Atlanta cops last month, he had good reason. Plenty of good reasons. For one, he was a convicted felon with lots of stolen loot in his car, including guns, a real no-no. He was on probation for a 2011 robbery that ended in the death of a fellow robber. He was also on probation for trying to sledgehammer...

Posted: 6 days ago

When Terry Kelley bolted from Atlanta cops last month, he had good reason. Plenty of good reasons. For one, he was a convicted felon with lots of stolen loot in his car, including guns, a real no-no. He was on probation for a 2011 robbery that ended in the death of a fellow robber. He was also on probation for trying to sledgehammer...
Torpy at Large: Fulton’s courts, the Buckhead bad guys’ best friend


If this sounds like déjà vu all over again, you’re not mistaken.
Recently, a frustrated Atlanta police commander sent out an email to Buckhead residents with a “good news/bad news update” concerning a wave of burglaries, car thefts and general mayhem besetting that area.

Posted: 8 days ago

If this sounds like déjà vu all over again, you’re not mistaken. Recently, a frustrated Atlanta police commander sent out an email to Buckhead residents with a “good news/bad news update” concerning a wave of burglaries, car thefts and general mayhem besetting that area.
Torpy at Large: Super Bowl trafficking roundups. Here’s the deal
 Last week, I wrote a column challenging the contention that the Super Bowl brings thousands of sexually trafficked women and children into the host city for abuse. The next day, a lady called me with an expletive-laden diatribe that I was all wet. “That is so (blanked) up to run anything like that,” she said. “Sex trafficking ...

Posted: 13 days ago

Last week, I wrote a column challenging the contention that the Super Bowl brings thousands of sexually trafficked women and children into the host city for abuse. The next day, a lady called me with an expletive-laden diatribe that I was all wet. “That is so (blanked) up to run anything like that,” she said. “Sex trafficking ...
PHOTOS: Super Bowl fun in Atlanta-Saturday
Edward Foxworth, left, and his brother, Victor, both "Grady babies," attended the Super Bowl Experience downtown to capture a bit of the big game's feel and to bask in civic pride. Photo by Bill Torpy

Posted: 17 days ago

Edward Foxworth, left, and his brother, Victor, both "Grady babies," attended the Super Bowl Experience downtown to capture a bit of the big game's feel and to bask in civic pride. Photo by Bill Torpy
Torpy at Large: When it comes to hype, The Big Game can’t beat The ATL
 Super Bowl LIII allows Atlanta to do what it does very well: Pat itself on the back with one hand while taking visitors’ money with the other. It’s a trait I’ve admired during my decades in Atlanta, an aspirational locale where hucksterism, boosterism and transactionalism are tempered with a dose of idealist realism. Or...

Posted: 18 days ago

Super Bowl LIII allows Atlanta to do what it does very well: Pat itself on the back with one hand while taking visitors’ money with the other. It’s a trait I’ve admired during my decades in Atlanta, an aspirational locale where hucksterism, boosterism and transactionalism are tempered with a dose of idealist realism. Or...
Torpy at Large: Sexual slavery and myth-making at the Super Bowl
 They’re ready in suburban East Cobb to tackle the wave of sex trafficking expected to, once again, hit a Super Bowl city. Last week brought a bustling discussion of the issue on an Indian Hills neighborhood chat site after a resident said she planned to drive by two nearby homes being rented out on Airbnb. And if she sees anything funny...

Posted: 20 days ago

They’re ready in suburban East Cobb to tackle the wave of sex trafficking expected to, once again, hit a Super Bowl city. Last week brought a bustling discussion of the issue on an Indian Hills neighborhood chat site after a resident said she planned to drive by two nearby homes being rented out on Airbnb. And if she sees anything funny...
Torpy at Large: The homeless census, or numbers you can't count on
 It was organized chaos, with a hint of desperation, Tuesday night outside the Gateway Center in south downtown Atlanta. A team of earnest young people in orange reflective vests with clipboards were encountering homeless people who had descended on the homeless facility looking to escape the bitter winds. For the price of a $5 McDonald&rsquo...

Posted: 22 days ago

It was organized chaos, with a hint of desperation, Tuesday night outside the Gateway Center in south downtown Atlanta. A team of earnest young people in orange reflective vests with clipboards were encountering homeless people who had descended on the homeless facility looking to escape the bitter winds. For the price of a $5 McDonald&rsquo...
Torpy at Large: Red city rising from increasingly blue Cobb County?
 Cobb County, long a bastion of conservatism, now leans Democratic. Meanwhile, a chunk of the county that remains staunchly Republican — East Cobb — is mulling becoming a city. Is this a cosmic coincidence? Or is it cause and effect, a chance for folks here to elect local officials and stave off the whims of a Democratic junta?...

Posted: 27 days ago

Cobb County, long a bastion of conservatism, now leans Democratic. Meanwhile, a chunk of the county that remains staunchly Republican — East Cobb — is mulling becoming a city. Is this a cosmic coincidence? Or is it cause and effect, a chance for folks here to elect local officials and stave off the whims of a Democratic junta?...
Torpy at Large: Governor Shotgun has some tough choices to make
 It’s going to be interesting which path Governor Shotgun takes. Back in the Republican primary, then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp was a middling candidate who carved out a striking image as a “politically incorrect conservative” by hoisting a shotgun and firing up a chainsaw and cranking up his pickup truck so he could...

11:00 AM Friday, Jan. 18, 2019

It’s going to be interesting which path Governor Shotgun takes. Back in the Republican primary, then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp was a middling candidate who carved out a striking image as a “politically incorrect conservative” by hoisting a shotgun and firing up a chainsaw and cranking up his pickup truck so he could...