JonBenet Ramsey: A Father's Regrets

John Ramsey speaks out against "Toddlers and Tiaras" and shares memories.
1:31 | 03/15/12

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Transcript for JonBenet Ramsey: A Father's Regrets
-- crime that still haunts after sixteen years Jonbenet Ramsey the six year old beauty queen found murdered in her basement. Tonight with the child pageant -- bigger than ever jonbenet's father John Ramsey. Isn't mincing words here -- ABC's juju -- -- Jonbenet Ramsey were alive today she'd be 21 years old. What do you think should have been like I can't visualize Jonbenet at that age kind herb my image of her in my mind this. As a six year old little girl. Room. John Ramsey remembers his daughter as fresh faced and -- not just the tragic child beauty queen -- glamorous girls and Omega. Who the world learned was found murdered in her own home in 1996. -- -- -- -- Yet all these years later John has found an unexpected path to forgiveness but not one without regrets. -- beauty pageant phenomenon seen on toddlers and tiara as makes -- uncomfortable now. And if he had another chance. He says he would not -- Jonbenet compete publicly like them. Today much more so than even in the ninety's. The -- toddlers and tiara -- yeah that's pretty. Bizarre what do you think that while I think it's very bizarre and certainly passage dominated approach it that way -- they just have -- -- -- -- -- Letting her compete in pageants. Yeah probably. Now -- your lesson was what if we inadvertently. Exposed her to the -- we obviously don't keep -- plot to house but. It's just I don't where should -- have to I think it's a good parent be a little more aware that we were -- not everyone around Jews. -- a nice good person. In fact in his new book the other side of suffering Ramsey writes that a stranger approached Jonbenet during -- -- like this one. Just days before she was murdered. It's a fact that still haunts him. Anonymity is there's probably a good thing and I don't know if that's what drew the attention of the killer. It was the morning after Christmas when the ramseys woke up and Jonbenet was gone. They found a ransom note threatening to killer if they didn't pay a 1181000. Dollars. But by nightfall John made a horrifying discovery in their basement. I tell people the worst moment of that morning and was not finding her it was realized she was gone and taken. When I founder it was a rush of relief. And then of course within moments I realize that you probably -- But -- respect my arms so. Within hours the ramseys especially John felt they were being treated as suspects. What is that like living under that cloud of suspicion at the time we were so crushed by -- -- child that it didn't matter. The footprint a broken window DNA evidence all tantalizing clues that fueled a media frenzy. Unlike nearly any in modern journalism. They eventually sat down with Barbara Walters to try to set the record straight mr. -- Did you kill. John and now mrs. Nancy -- contender at Arlington country -- -- It would take twelve years for the boulder district attorney's office to completely clear the entire Ramsey family using new DNA procedures. But not before his wife patsy lost her battle with ovarian cancer. His successful business no longer -- his finances and the family's reputation seemed beyond repair. This room. Will -- the master better. Despite the loss of Jonbenet and patsy. He married his new wife -- in July and there in the process of renovating this modest home in rural Michigan. But I think this -- metaphor for your life. Yes yes it didn't really truly is -- rebuilding we're developing us together. For a man who used to employ hundreds of people John Ramsey now says he's learned to love downsizing. He says years of healing and praying have helped him get past hopelessness and despair. It seems to me that you chronicle almost the secret. Power of forgiveness. I struggled a lot with forgiveness and what that man the first phase was I can't -- this creature no -- hands on him. We won't need a trial no one would blame you for being angry and -- and I was for at the time. Absolutely. But but you can't stay there -- and because it's it's damaging to you as a person. And that gets back to this forgiveness concept it's it's a gift to give yourself Politico. Forgiveness may be about letting go of his past that John still holds onto the happy time. Like this picture drawn by Jonbenet just days before her death. This when she did actually it's Sunday school it's. Mary and Joseph from the baby Jesus and what do you think of when you see this -- makes me happy. And -- And and I know she was happy as a child a told Riverdale appearance. And -- she knew I loved her that she was loved and I think it's reflected in the picture for Nightline I'm juju Chang in Charlotte -- --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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