“I now believe with all my heart that it’s not a good idea to put your child on public display,” John Ramsey said.
The father of murdered pageant princess JonBenet Ramsey said he regrets letting her compete in beauty pageants and finds shows like TLC’s “Toddlers & Tiaras” troubling.
"It's very bizarre," John Ramsey told ABC News on Tuesday. “And, it certainly– Patsy and JonBenet didn’t approach it that way. We– they just did it for fun.”
Ramsey said he remembers his daughter, who died at age 6, not as a coiffed beauty queen, but as a tomboy who loved to hike and play with her brother, Burke.
“I see her, you know, in shorts and t-shirt and hair kind of scruffy and just kind of a kid,” Ramsey said.
He added that JonBenet’s participation in the pageants could have played a role in her death.
“I now believe with all my heart that it’s not a good idea to put your child on public display,” he said.
"Only because — that possibly might have drawn attention to us. [My] advice to a parent is just recognize that, regardless of where you live, there could be evil around you. And don't be naive about it. And keep your kids protected.”
Ramsey appeared on ABC to promote his new book, "The Other Side of Suffering," about the ordeal he and his family endured after his daughter’s death.
He and his wife, Patsy Ramsey, were considered suspects in the murder for 12 years until a Boulder district attorney cleared them in 2008.
JonBenet Ramsey, who would have been 21 years old if she were alive today, was killed in December 1996. Her mother died of cancer in 2006.
The case remains unsolved, and Ramsey said he believes JonBenet’s killer could still be at large.
“He’s either alive, dead or in prison, and one of those three,” he said.