That was the point I was going to raise, Snowsurvivor. I just saw Longford for the first time this morning, and all I kept thinking was, "Wow...I had no idea there was a Bernardo/Homolka-like team 30 years earlier!"
Having read nearly every bit of literature out there on the Homolka case, it's my opinion (for whatever that's worth!) that she wasn't "vilified" enough by the courts, and that was because she played the I'm-a-pretty-young-woman-who-got manipulated card. But anyone who knows much about what happened to their victims - and perhaps especially the rape and murder ("accidental death") of Karla's own sister - can see that she got off incredibly easy. And I can't count how many psychiatrists have said, as you did, that she seemed to be the catalyst for his Scarborough Rapist days turning into their murderous rampage. (Granted, he might have gone that way anyway; a lot of violent criminals escalate without help, but seeing as Karla had so much involvement in it, it seems VERY wrong that she got to cut a deal and is now out, married, with a BABY, instead of serving time equal to that of Paul's sentence.)
Bottom line, for me, anyway, is that in some cases (at the very least the Homolka case), the female accomplice actually gets it much easier than the male counterpart. She served her time in a prison that allowed her to have birthday parties, and paid for her to get a university degree, among other things, while Paul Bernardo is on 23-hr lockdown for the rest of his life (rightfully so). Given what EACH of them contributed to the torture of those girls, which was proven by their videotapes, I think Karla's blond hair and little-girl voice won her freedom. No matter how you slice it, you certainly can't say she was treated worse by the justice system because she's a woman.
That was really just a long way of saying: Well put, Snowsurvivor!
For anyone interested in the details: http://www.crimelibrary.com/serial_killers/notorious/bernardo/homolka_ jump_page.html
But would Homolka and Hindley have been involved in the activity if it weren't for the men in their lives and would the men have done it regardless of whether they had a woman to conspire with? The answers are obvious to me.
Redheads not warheads
Karla Holmoka got off because she struck a deal before it was revealed she was equally guilty didn't she? Not because she was a woman.