Digital portrait rendered by loving son, Zane

For the past 15 years, Ray Bendici has been an editor and award-winning writer at Connecticut Magazine. In that time, he has probably covered more ground here than the Old Leather Man did in his years of wandering. He’s authored both the “Sunday Drive” and “Being There” columns in the magazine, which has required him to drive nearly every mile of highway and allowed him to visit the four corners of the state (plus the Southwich Jog), as well as every town in between. A veritable professional Connecti-phile.

The state—and the curious stuff within in its borders—is also his hobby. With a few friends and in his spare time, he runs Damned Connecticut, a website dedicated to everything unusual, weird and extraordinary here, from supposedly haunted places and UFO sightings to quirky characters and mysterious legends. Maybe it started when his parents used to drag him to old graveyards during family vacations, or the first time he heard about the Loch Ness Monster, but since then, he’s loved everything bizarre or unexplained—that which is called Fortean phenomena.

He has authored Connecticut Curiosities: 3rd Edition and Speaking Ill of the Dead: Connecticut Jerks, both from Globe Pequot Press.

In addition to writing, he also loves photography, and has had many images published in books and magazines.

He resides in Shelton, with his two sons.

Ray Bendici also enjoys talking about himself in the third person, not unlike a professional wrestler.